Congressional leaders pledged Thursday to move legislation this year that will fund Donald Trump’s most oft-repeated campaign promise – to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
According to The Associated Press, House Speaker Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.), told reporters at a GOP strategy retreat that they were planning legislation providing $12 billion to $15 billion for constructing the wall. According to the AP, Ryan offered no details on how the wall would be paid for, saying they would wait until the Trump administration proposes legislation.
Congress will pay for "the construction of the physical barrier on the border," Ryan promised Thursday in Philadelphia.
What is it that Congress will be paying for and where will the money come from? As for what they will be building and what’s involved with it, here are a few numbers to help to illustrate the wall and its effects. As for where the money will come from, that part of the plan was not explained.
The wall by the numbers
35 to 50 feet – The height of the proposed wall; it would be made of precast concrete.
50 – The number of Mexican consulates across the United States which will "turn into places to defend rights of Mexicans," Mexican President Peña Nieto said if the wall is built.
700 miles – The amount of fencing authorized to be built along America's southern border in the Secure Fence Act.
652 – The number of miles of fencing that have been built; Trump would need to secure funding from Congress for the additional 1,200 miles.
2,000 miles – The length of the border between the United States and Mexico – nearly half of that length includes natural borders such as rivers and cliffs.
5,000 – The extra number of border agents Trump said will be hired when the wall is built.
10,000 – The extra number of immigration agents Trump said will be hired when the wall is built.
415,000 – The number of undocumented aliens caught trying to enter the United States through the country's southern border in 2016.
$142 million – The amount of aid Trump says can be cut off from Mexico if they do not cooperate with building the wall.
$8 billion to $12 billion – The cost to build a wall, according to Donald Trump (on Thursday, the figure $12 billion to $15 billion was quoted by GOP Congressional leaders).
11 million – The estimated number of undocumented aliens in the United States.
$24 billion – How much per year Trump says Mexico receives in remittances from people in the United States; the majority comes from undocumented immigrants sending money back to Mexico using money transfer companies.
326 – The section of the Patriot Act that requires financial institutions to verify the identity of customers who want to open accounts. Trump hopes to expand the definition of "financial institutions" to include money transfer companies. Those companies would then be charged with verifying the identities of their customers.
Sources: The New York Times; The Washington Post; The Associated Press; The White House; Politifact