Which entity funded the construction of the US Mexico border?

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By Omar Perez

The US-Mexico Border

The US-Mexico border is a 1,954-mile-long boundary between the United States and Mexico, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a contentious and heavily debated topic in American politics, with issues of immigration, trade, and national security at the forefront of the conversation. The construction of a border wall, which President Donald Trump campaigned on and eventually pursued during his presidency, has only added to the controversy surrounding the border.

The Construction of the Border Wall

The idea of a border wall between the US and Mexico dates back to the early 1990s, when the San Diego border fence was constructed. However, it was not until President Trump’s administration that the idea of a complete border wall became a political priority. In 2017, the Trump administration took steps to begin construction of the wall, including issuing an executive order to begin planning and allocating funds for the project.

The Cost of Building the Wall

The cost of building the border wall has been a major point of contention since its inception. According to estimates from the Department of Homeland Security, a complete border wall would cost approximately $21.6 billion. However, other estimates have put the cost much higher, with some experts estimating that the wall could cost as much as $70 billion.

Political Controversies Surrounding the Wall

The construction of the border wall has been a highly politicized issue, with Democrats and Republicans fiercely divided on the matter. Supporters of the wall argue that it is necessary to combat illegal immigration and protect national security, while opponents argue that it is a waste of money and ineffective at addressing the root causes of immigration.

Who Funded the Wall?

The majority of the funding for the border wall has come from the US federal government. In 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border, which allowed him to divert funding from other government programs towards the construction of the wall. Additionally, Congress has allocated billions of dollars in funding specifically for the wall.

The Role of Congress in Funding the Wall

Congress has been divided on the issue of border wall funding, with Democrats largely opposing the construction of the wall and Republicans supporting it. In 2019, Congress passed a spending bill that allocated $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the border, far less than the $5.7 billion that President Trump had requested. However, the bill also included provisions that restricted the use of funds for certain aspects of the wall, such as building a concrete wall.

Private Donations to Build the Wall

In addition to government funding, private donations have also been used to support the construction of the border wall. The most notable example is the "We Build the Wall" campaign, which raised over $25 million in donations from private citizens. However, there have been concerns about the use of these donations and whether they meet legal and ethical standards.

The Use of Taxpayer Money for the Wall

The use of taxpayer money to fund the border wall has been a point of controversy since its inception. Critics argue that the money could be better spent on other government programs, such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Additionally, there have been concerns about the legality of diverting funds from other government programs towards the wall.

The Impact of Wall Funding on Other Programs

The diversion of funds towards the construction of the wall has had a significant impact on other government programs. For example, the Department of Defense has diverted billions of dollars from military construction projects towards the wall, which has resulted in delays and cancellations of other projects. Additionally, the diversion of funds from FEMA and other disaster relief programs has raised concerns about the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters.

The Future of Border Wall Funding

The future of border wall funding remains uncertain, with President Biden signaling his intention to halt construction of the wall and redirect funds towards other priorities. However, the issue is likely to remain contentious, with Republicans continuing to push for funding for the wall and Democrats opposing it.

Alternatives to a Physical Border Wall

There are alternative approaches to addressing the issue of border security that do not involve the construction of a physical wall. These include investing in technology, increasing staffing at ports of entry, and addressing the root causes of migration.

Conclusion: The Cost and Consequences of Border Wall Funding

The construction of the border wall has been a highly divisive issue that has had significant consequences for government funding and other programs. While it remains to be seen what the future holds for the wall, it is clear that the cost and impact of the project will continue to be debated for years to come.

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Omar Perez

Omar Perez, a Caribbean correspondent at TravelAsker, is a skilled writer with a degree from Florida International University. He has published in prestigious outlets like The Miami Herald, Orlando Weekly, Miami Daily Business Review, and various New Times editions. He has also worked as a stringer for The New York Times in Miami, combining his love for travel and storytelling to vividly depict the Caribbean's charm.

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