A Homeland Security Department report seen by Reuters also says the border wall President Trump wants could take more than three years to build. Fred Katayama reports.
President Donald Trump's wall could cost a lot more than he thinks. Reuters obtained a Homeland Security Department report that puts the total tab of erecting fences and walls along the U.S.-Mexico border at up to $21.6 billion. That's a lot higher than the $12 billion figure Trump cites and the $15 billion cited by Republican Congressional leaders. The report estimates it'll take more than three years to build a wall over three phases covering more than 1,250 miles. The cost doesn't account for physical barriers, like mountains, where it would not be feasible to build. One reason the cost is much higher than the other estimates: this report accounts for the time and cost to acquire private land. The report shows the government has already begun seeking waivers to address environmental laws. And it's working with contractors and planning purchases of steel. A White House spokesman said it would be "premature" to comment on the report. Trump plans to get Mexico to eventually pay for the wall after getting Congress to fund the wall upfront. Mexico says, no way.