Trump pushes ahead with US-Mexican border wall
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered construction of a multibillion-dollar wall along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) US-Mexico border. The White House said the wall would curb flow of drugs, crime and illegal immigration into the United States.
Trump's plans prompted an outcry from immigrant advocates and Democratic lawmakers who argued Trump was jeopardizing the rights and freedoms of millions of people while treating Mexico as an enemy and soiling America's historic reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants of all stripes.
The cost, nature and extent of the wall are still not clear. Trump last year put the cost at "probably $8 billion," although other estimates are higher, and he said the wall would span 1,000 miles (1,600 km) because of the terrain of the border.
In the ABC News interview, Trump said construction on the wall would start within months, with planning starting immediately, and that Mexico would pay back to the United States "100 percent" of the costs. Mexican officials have said they will not pay for the wall. Mexico's president has hit back at Donald Trump's decision, repeating that his country would not pay for it.
Trump's actions could further test relations with Mexico. His demand that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada be renegotiated or scrapped, have put Mexico's government on the defensive. Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are due to meet next week.