He's gonna build The Wall. It's going to be a big, beautiful wall, a tremendous wall, with a door where people can come into this country legally. And Mexico is going to pay for it. President-elect Donald Trump's signature issue of his campaign was a promise to build a wall on the Southern border of the United States to stop what he described as a flood of illegal immigrants, "rapists" and "criminals" terrorizing our country. Didn't matter if it was true or not, Trump's supporters loved it and elected him president. So when will Trump build the wall? He won't, according to analysts. Because it's an expensive, lame idea to solve a problem that doesn't really exist.
According to the conservative think tank Cato Institute, which examined Trump's immigration position paper in detail, the wall Trump is actually planning to "build" will be a virtual one. There are currently 700 miles of physical barriers along the southern border. So presumably those additional miles will get little more than beefed up surveillance. It doesn't really matter, though: Cato added the immigration problem doesn't really exist.
"His border wall is meant to address illegal border crossings that began subsiding a decade ago and are now near their post-1970 historical low point," Cato said in its analysis of Trump's immigration policy. "There is a perception of chaos on the border that doesn’t reflect reality, but perception is all that matters in politics."
But for the sake of argument, let's say Trump did actually intend to build a wall. He still couldn't possibly get it done. According to the Washington Post, Congress would never approve the money for such a silly project, the logistics are nearly impossible, and Mexico has already told Trump that, when it comes to funding his wall, he can go pound sand.
Following Trump's election, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto congratulated the president-elect and vowed to work with him in the best interests of both countries, according to Reuters:
Dialogue to make agreements is still the best route for Mexico, and my government will seek opportunities that benefit both nations in this new phase of bilateral relations.
But, at the same time, Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu took the opportunity to repeat Mexico's refusal to pay for Trump's promised wall, according Reuters.
Trump's cronies and surrogates know the wall is a lame idea. By late August their talking points had shifted from talking about a 50-foot-tall wall made out of concrete to a virtual wall, the Post reported. Not like an electric fence, mind you. The Washington Post compared the concept to someone who wears an ankle bracelet while under house arrest.
As far as Congressional cooperation for Trump's wall, Senate Majority Leader Mich McConnell doesn't seem interested in a big, costly border wall project either. On Wednesday, the day after the election, when asked by reporters about the likelihood of Trump's wall getting done, he gave a pretty non-committal response, saying he's interested in making border security a priority in “in whatever way is the most effective," according to the Post.
Trump has said the wall would cost about $12 billion, according to the International Business Times, but a Washington Post study found the project would come with a price tag closer to $55 million.
Good luck getting a Congress full of fiscal conservatives to sign off on that.