During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump had promised to build a permanent US-Mexico Border Wall to prevent entry of illegal immigrants and make America safe. He has also indicated that drug smugglers and others with a criminal bent of mind gain entry through gaps in the existing wall, hence the new one will plug all loopholes. It will be impregnable. Accordingly, specifications were defined and prototypes were prepared – but there is not much progress because Congress is not sanctioning the funds.

News AU reports Donald Trump plans to ask Congress for $8.6 billion in the budget towards building the wall on the southern border.

The Senate must vote on it this week. His demand has been there for quite a while and when it did not materialize, Trump went for a government shutdown for 35 days beginning in December. He now proposes to divert money from other sources to finance the wall.

Massive investment required for the border wall

The proposal of the US-Mexico border wall is based on a plan of 2017 prepared by Customs and Border Protection. It envisaged building or replacing nearly 1161 kilometers of the wall and its estimate was about $18 billion. Multiple prototypes were prepared and until now, less than 10 percent (approximately 178 kilometers) have either been constructed or is under construction. The tentative sources of financing to the extent of $8.6 billion are from the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon’s construction budget and from funds earmarked against military construction.

News AU goes on to add Donald Trump wanted $5.7 billion but when Congress agreed for only $1.375 billion, he imposed the longest ever government shutdown in December.

Later, in February, he changed his strategy by declaring a national emergency at the border. That gave him the option of diverting funds from other agencies. However, the final decision will have to be a collective one.

Donald Trump has a tough balancing act on hands

According to CNN, the Trump administration could clash with Congress on the budget with proposals of deep domestic spending cuts.

President Donald Trump will deliver his budget roadmap and he will have to do it under a divided government because Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be at the helm of a Democratic-controlled House. Obviously, he could come up against severe resistance on proposed cuts in sensitive areas like education, health, and environmental protections.

CNN says Donald Trump is expected to ask for $8.6 billion for a border wall, and both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are firm that he will not get any fund for the wall. The two of them said in a joint statement, "President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico.”