On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee passed legislation providing $10 billion in funding to build President Donald Trump’s control wall along the U.S.- Mexico border.
Proposed by committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas,) the Border Security for America Act passed with an 18-12 vote.
Besides the $10 billion, $5 billion will be used to improve ports of entry and to hire more immigration agents. The act also states that up to $35 million of government funding can be given to reimburse states for the additional costs to reinforce border security.
“We must have physical barriers—including a wall where necessary and fencing when appropriate, the right technology, and more personnel in place to enforce our laws and detain those attempting to enter illegally,” said McCaul. “We finally have a partner in the White House who has prioritized this issue, and it’s time for Congress to do its job.”
However, Democrats have been on a mission to stall the construction of the wall by proposing different bill or amendments, some of which are ridiculous.
“To show their disdain for the idea of building a border wall, the bill’s central tenet, Democratic committee members proposed tongue-in-cheek amendments,” write The Hill. “Thompson proposed changing the bill’s name to “Taking Americans’ Land to Build Trump’s Wall Act of 2017,” and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) proposed a definition of “border wall” that would include the terms “big and beautiful,” “real,” “inclusive of a door” and “paid for by the Mexican Government.” Vela also made a proposal to withhold wall construction funds until Mexico agreed to reimburse them, alluding to Trump’s campaign pledge to get Mexico to pay for a border wall.”
“I appreciate the gentleman’s creativity in this amendment and sense of humor, but I will oppose this amendment,” said McCaul.
Other Democrats have argued that building the wall would have a detrimental impact on the environment.
While U.S. Reps. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Ruben Gallego, D-Arizona are planning to introduce a bill to stop the Trump administration from building the proposed border wall on private property.
But none of the Democrat proposals have been accepted, except for an amendment that states control centers be installed in the border versus remotely.
“O’Rourke and Gallego’s proposal amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General from using “eminent domain to acquire land for the purpose of constructing a wall, or other physical barrier, along the international border between the United States and Mexico, and for other purposes,” writes El Paso Times. “O’Rourke said the Immigration and Nationality Act, which codifies much of the nation’s immigration policy, works as a vehicle for the legislation because it’s, “where Congress places the power for the federal government to use eminent domain in the first place.”
While Democrats attempt to halt the construction of the wall, the eight prototypes of the walls are already being built.
Six companies have been deployed to create the prototypes and it’s estimated that it will take roughly a month to complete. Each wall will be 18 to 30 feet high and the prototypes cost anywhere from 2.4 to 4 million.
Trump will be selecting the prototype that will be used for the entire border wall once they are complete.
“I’m gonna go out and look at them personally, and I’m gonna pick the right one,” said Trump.
Author’s note: With the prototypes in production and the budget outlined, it’s only a matter of time until the construction before the official wall starts. This wall proves that, again, our president takes his campaign promises seriously.