White House requests $1.4 billion for border wall project start


WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an appropriations request submitted this week, the White House is requesting an additional $30 billion in defense spending for the 2017 fiscal year, which includes a request for $1.4 billion to begin construction of the border wall. The request was timed with the release of President Trump’s FY18 budget proposal that would see $2.6 billion allocated toward the wall project.

The request specifies the addition of $1.4 billion for CBP Procurement, Construction, and Improvements, including: $999 million for planning, design, and construction of the first installment of the border wall, $179 million for access roads, gates, and other tactical infrastructure projects, and $200 million for border security technology deployments.

According to a statement from the White House:

“This appropriations request would provide an additional $3 billion for DHS implementation of my executive orders on border security and immigration enforcement. The request would fund efforts to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, and make other critical investments in tactical border infrastructure and technology. The request also proposes funding to increase immigration detention capacity, which is necessary to ensure the removal of illegal aliens from the United States. Finally, the request funds new recruiting capacity at DHS so that it may hire additional immigration law enforcement officers and agents.”

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had begun to elicit proposals earlier this month for wall design prototypes, with which it hopes to procure “concrete wall structures, nominally 30 feet tall, that will meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage.”

The CBP had also requested the Imperial Regional Detention Facility located outside of Calexico to double its capacity to 2,000 beds, indicating the Trump Administration’s confidence that funding for the initial stages of the wall project and other border efforts will be available.

The President’s FY18 proposal is not a comprehensive outline for the upcoming fiscal year, but rather a guideline for Congress. Democrats have said that they will not vote for any budget that includes spending on a border wall. Congress has until April 28 to adopt another continuing resolution (CR) on a budget or face a government shutdown.