The Trump Administration has presented its most detailed request for the president's border wall proposal — asking Congress for nearly $18 billion for a wall expansion over 10 years.
The funds would be used to create a total of 970 miles of barrier between the United States and Mexico by September 2027, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the matter.
Another $15 billion has been requested for technology, personnel and roads. It amounts to an additional $33 billion in spending for security along the southern U.S. border.
One local U.S. Customs and Border Patrol union leader backs the plan.
“From the perspective of a border patrol agent, a wall and other physical barriers are very helpful for us doing our jobs,” said Joshua Wilson, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613.
“Most of the people that will tell you a border wall doesn’t work, have zero border security experience,” Wilson added.
The new funding proposal would add 5,000 new border patrol agents and 3,500 border inspectors and other personnel, the U.S. official said.
Immigrant rights advocates argue there is already an excessive security presence in San Diego.
“It’s just an outlandish amount of money that is being spent on policies to enforce the border, which have failed,” said Pedro Rios, Director of American Friends Services Committee in San Diego.
“The President and the Administration need to hear what the border communities have to say about this,” Rios added.
The financial plan for a border wall comes as lawmakers debate protections for undocumented young people known as “Dreamers.” Any attempt at a compromise on immigration reform in the coming year will likely come with a requirement that more money be spent on border security.