Over the past few weeks, Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has run into political and logistical problems, raising questions about how much will be funded and built. An April 30 deal to fund the government through September excluded funds for Trump’s wall. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) anticipated in an interview to CNN that a funding plan without the wall will be challenged: “You are going to see a lot of conservatives against this plan this week.”

It is unclear who is going to pay for it

After 100 days and a diplomatic clash with Mexico, the new administration has not been able to secure funding for the wall, but some details have been released on priority areas for building. A preliminary document from Homeland Security anticipates constructing more than 100 miles of various border barriers over the next two years.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggests taxing imports from Mexico to pay for a wall along the

U.S. - Mexico border.

DAY 1

JAN. 26

Jan.

JAN. 27

10

In his executive order on Jan. 27, President Trump asked to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall.”

20

Feb.

Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warns the U.S. against imposing an import tax to fund the border wall.

30

FEB. 25

40

The White House presents its 2017 budget proposal, which includes a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall.

50

Mar.

MARCH 16

MARCH 17

60

U.S. Customs and Border Protection starts the process of requesting bids for design proposals.

70

APRIL 5

John F. Kelly tells the Senate “it is unlikely a wall will be built from sea to shining sea.”

80

Apr.

APRIL 23

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, increases pressure on lawmakers to fund the wall, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown.

90

100

APRIL 30

Congress agrees on a $1 trillion spending bill without funding for the wall.

May

The first sections of Trump’s barrier

could be built in three main areas:

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

SAN DIEGO

According to a preliminary planning document, 28 miles of border barrier will be raised at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista in 2017, replacing 14 miles of a secondary fence with a wall and replacing 14 miles of primary fence.

In 2017, 28 miles of leeve wall and six miles of border barrier are planned for the McAllen area and Weslaco. In 2018, 47 additional miles of the new border barrier system are planned at Rio Grande City.

Existing fence

No border barrier

Federal land

CA

U.S.

NM

AZ

S.Diego

El Paso

Nogales

TX

Tijuana

C. Juarez

Del Rio

Laredo

100 miles

Brownsville

TUCSON / EL PASO

Although there are no exact locations specified in the early proposal for the Tucson and El Paso sectors, 24 additional miles of a border barrier system are planned for these areas.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

DAY 1

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

JAN. 26

JAN. 27

FEB. 25

MARCH 16

MARCH 17

APRIL 5

APRIL 23

APRIL 30

Congress agrees on a $1 trillion spending bill without funding for the wall.

John F. Kelly tells the Senate “it is unlikely a wall will be built from sea to shining sea.”

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, increases pressure on lawmakers to fund the wall, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown.

Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warns the U.S. against imposing an import tax to fund the border wall.

The White House presents its 2017 budget proposal, which includes a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection starts the process of requesting bids for design proposals.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggests taxing imports from Mexico to pay for a wall along the

U.S. - Mexico border.

In his executive order on Jan. 27, President Trump asked to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall.”

The first sections of Trump’s barrier could be built in three main areas:

TEXAS

CALIFORNIA

ARIZONA

NEW MEXICO

Yuma

San Diego

100 miles

Las Cruces

Tucson

El Paso

SAN DIEGO-TIJUANA

Ciudad

Juarez

Nogales

According to a preliminary planning document, 28 miles of border barrier will be raised at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista in 2017, replacing 14 miles of a secondary fence with a wall and replacing 14 miles of primary fence.

Nogales

TUCSON / EL PASO

San Antonio

Although there are no exact locations specified in the early proposal for the Tucson and El Paso sectors, 24 additional miles of a border barrier system are planned for these areas.

Del Rio

Chihuahua

Piedras Negras

Laredo

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

FEDERAL LAND

In 2017, 28 miles of leeve wall and six miles of border barrier are planned for the McAllen area and Weslaco. In 2018, 47 additional miles of the new border barrier system are planned at Rio Grande City.

Rio Grande City

McAllen

Brownsville

EXISTING FENCE

NO BORDER BARRIER

REPLACEMENT OR ADDITIONAL BARRIER:

IN 2017

IN 2018

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

DAY 1

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

JAN. 26

JAN. 27

FEB. 25

MARCH 16

MARCH 17

APRIL 5

APRIL 23

APRIL 30

John F. Kelly tells the Senate “it is unlikely a wall will be built from sea to shining sea.”

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, increases pressure on lawmakers to fund the wall, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown.

Congress agrees on a $1 trillion spending bill without funding for the wall.

Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warns the U.S. against imposing an import tax to fund the border wall.

The White House presents its 2017 budget proposal, which includes a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection starts the process of requesting bids for design proposals.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggests taxing imports from Mexico to pay for a wall along the

U.S. - Mexico border.

In his executive order on Jan. 27, President Trump asked to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall.”

The first sections of Trump’s barrier could be built in three main areas:

TEXAS

CALIFORNIA

ARIZONA

NEW MEXICO

Yuma

San Diego

100 miles

Las Cruces

Tucson

SAN DIEGO-TIJUANA

El Paso

Ciudad

Juarez

Nogales

According to a preliminary planning document, 28 miles of border barrier will be raised at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista in 2017, replacing 14 miles of a secondary fence with a wall and replacing 14 miles of primary fence.

Nogales

TUCSON / EL PASO

Although there are no exact locations specified in the early proposal for the Tucson and El Paso sectors, 24 additional miles of a border barrier system are planned for these areas.

San Antonio

Del Rio

Chihuahua

Piedras Negras

FEDERAL LAND

Laredo

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

EXISTING FENCE

In 2017, 28 miles of leeve wall and six miles of border barrier are planned for the McAllen area and Weslaco. In 2018, 47 additional miles of the new border barrier system are planned at Rio Grande City.

NO BORDER BARRIER

Rio Grande City

McAllen

REPLACEMENT OR ADDITIONAL BARRIER:

Brownsville

IN 2017

IN 2018

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

DAY 1

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

JAN. 26

JAN. 27

FEB. 25

MARCH 16

MARCH 17

APRIL 5

APRIL 23

APRIL 30

John F. Kelly tells the Senate “it is unlikely a wall will be built from sea to shining sea.”

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, increases pressure on lawmakers to fund the wall, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown.

Congress agrees on a $1 trillion spending bill without funding for the wall.

Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warns the U.S. against imposing an import tax to fund the border wall.

The White House presents its 2017 budget proposal, which includes a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection starts the process of requesting bids for design proposals.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggests taxing imports from Mexico to pay for a wall along the

U.S. - Mexico border.

In his executive order on Jan. 27, President Trump asked to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall.”

The first sections of Trump’s barrier could be built in three main areas:

TEXAS

CALIFORNIA

ARIZONA

NEW MEXICO

Yuma

San Diego

100 miles

Las Cruces

Tucson

SAN DIEGO-TIJUANA

El Paso

Ciudad

Juarez

Nogales

According to a preliminary planning document, 28 miles of border barrier will be raised at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista in 2017, replacing 14 miles of a secondary fence with a wall and replacing 14 miles of primary fence.

Nogales

TUCSON / EL PASO

Although there are no exact locations specified in the early proposal for the Tucson and El Paso sectors, 24 additional miles of a border barrier system are planned for these areas.

San Antonio

Del Rio

Chihuahua

Piedras Negras

FEDERAL LAND

EXISTING FENCE

Laredo

NO BORDER BARRIER

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

In 2017, 28 miles of leeve wall and six miles of border barrier are planned for the McAllen area and Weslaco. In 2018, 47 additional miles of the new border barrier system are planned at Rio Grande City.

REPLACEMENT OR ADDITIONAL BARRIER:

IN 2017

IN 2018

Rio Grande City

McAllen

Brownsville

DAY 1

JAN. 26

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggests taxing imports from Mexico to pay for a wall along the

U.S. - Mexico border.

Jan.

10

JAN. 27

20

In his executive order on Jan. 27, President Trump asked to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall.”

Feb.

30

FEB. 25

Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warns the U.S. against imposing an import tax to fund the border wall.

40

MARCH 16

50

The White House presents its 2017 budget proposal, which includes a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall.

Mar.

MARCH 17

60

U.S. Customs and Border Protection starts the process of requesting bids for design proposals.

70

APRIL 5

John F. Kelly tells the Senate “it is unlikely a wall will be built from sea to shining sea.”

80

APRIL 23

Apr.

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, increases pressure on lawmakers to fund the wall, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown.

90

100

APRIL 30

May

Congress agrees on a $1 trillion spending bill without funding for the wall.

The first sections of Trump’s barrier could be built in three main areas:

SAN DIEGO-TIJUANA

TUCSON / EL PASO

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

Although there are no exact locations specified in the early proposal for the Tucson and El Paso sectors, 24 additional miles of a border barrier system are planned for these areas.

According to a preliminary planning document, 28 miles of border barrier will be raised at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista in 2017, replacing 14 miles of a secondary fence with a wall and replacing 14 miles of primary fence.

In 2017, 28 miles of leeve wall and six miles of border barrier are planned for the McAllen area and Weslaco. In 2018, 47 additional miles of the new border barrier system are planned at Rio Grande City.

Federal land

CALIFORNIA

Exidting fence

No border barrier

ARIZONA

San Diego

NEW

MEXICO

El Paso

Tijuana

Nogales

TEXAS

Ciudad

Juarez

Nogales

BAJA

CALIFORNIA

CHIHUAHUA

SONORA

Del Rio

Laredo

Eagle Pass

COAHUILA

100 miles

Brownsville

NUEVO LEON

Matamoros

Fewer immigrants are trying to cross illegally

Since January, deportation rules have been modified. Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border, where he directed federal prosecutors to make immigration cases a higher priority, and the Department of Homeland Security found 33,000 more detention beds  to house undocumented immigrants and opened discussions with dozens of local police forces.

The number of immigrants apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol while trying to cross illegally dropped in the first few months of 2017 compared with the same period last year:

60k

Fiscal year

2016

40

20

Fiscal year

2017

0

Jan.

March

Oct.

60k

Fiscal year 2016

40

Fiscal year 2017

20

INAUGURATION

(Jan.19)

0

Jan.

Feb.

March

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

60k

Fiscal year 2016

40

20

Fiscal year 2017

ELECTION

(Nov.9)

INAUGURATION

(Jan.19)

0

Jan.

Feb.

March

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly told the Senate in March that the decline was a result of the administration’s “implementation of executive orders to enforce immigration laws.”

Although President Trump’s Jan. 27 order mandated that the wall be a contiguous and impassable physical barrier, Kelly clarified to the Senate on April 5, “It is unlikely a wall will be built from sea to shining sea.”

Border security experts prefer a see-through barrier

Whether the border barrier will be a solid concrete wall is still unclear. “It’s not a fence, it’s a wall,” Trump said in a January news conference. But DHS has been receiving bids for two different kind of barriers: a solid concrete wall” and a “see-through component/capability” option. Detailed proposals have not been released, but the preliminary plan shows the first 14 miles of wall could be raised near Imperial Beach and Chula Vista in the San Diego area.

West of the border, the fence goes deep into the Pacific Ocean.

(Photo by Zoeann Murphy/The Post)

Michael Fisher, a former chief of the Border Patrol with three decades of experience patrolling the border, said a barrier designed to allow officers to see through is preferable. “When we first got that fence we quickly noted that it was very difficult for us unless we would have the technology to see over it,” he told The Post, recalling his time in the San Diego sector, where the first fence of corrugated steel went up in the ’90s. “Maybe there were groups of people on the other side and we couldn’t see them. There are sections that the Border Patrol cut out to see through.”

Ronald Colburn, president of the Border Patrol Foundation, said, “I doubt they even discussed a solid concrete wall. I think that is an urban legend. … There is no single item of technology, manpower, infrastructure or single concept that solves a border security issue for any country. It is a combination of the right resources that make it.”  There are segments of the border where a wall is not needed and other technology is preferred, he said.

The Border Patrol monitors activity with cameras able to detect movement along the unfenced areas in the Tucson sector.

(Photo by Zoeann Murphy/The Post)

According to National Border Patrol Council spokesman Shawn Moran, “The wall will be different in each sector and station depending on the needs.”

Most of the current pedestrian and vehicle fencing starts to the west, in San Diego. It runs along the southern edges  of California, Arizona and New Mexico. Gaps were left open in some sectors of rough terrain.

Today, fenced and unfenced areas are monitored with drones, radar cameras and personnel.

And experts say a barrier is not necessary along the whole border

According to border security experts, fences or walls are useful as a way to direct illegal crossers to areas where Border Patrol has a strategic advantage. Single or double fencing allow agents to react to certain events, especially in highly populated areas. In remote areas, natural barriers already do this.

“You can go out to the beaches in San Diego, where I worked before, all through the sand dunes in Yuma, through the mountains in eastern Arizona, to the flat areas in El Paso ... all the way to the river areas in south Texas which I patrolled as well. There is not one suite of technology or infrastructure that works well everywhere,” Fisher said.

East of El Paso, 1,255 miles of border are defined by the winding path of the Rio Grande. It has a long history of meandering and changing course over the years. For Colburn, “The good Lord created a wall there, a canyon wall.”

At Lake Amistad, in Del Rio, the Rio Grande carved canyons several hundred feet tall.

In the Rio Grande Valley, the existing fence cuts out private land.

(Photos by Zoeann Murphy/The Post)

A fence can’t be placed within its floodplain and its design can’t obstruct the flow of water.

Sally Spener, the U.S. secretary of the International Boundary and Water Commission, explained that blocking the flow of the river “could cause the flow to be deflected and cause the international boundary to shift.”

The impact on local landowners and wildlife could be extensive

The few segments of barrier already built along the lower Rio Grande Valley under the 2006 Fence Act were built out of the flood plain, cutting out large areas of U.S. agricultural land and farms.

West of El Paso, most of the land is federally owned. To the east, most of what remains unfenced is privately owned. According to the Texas Observer, local landowners are already receiving first notices of land condemnation for Trump’s border wall.

At the eastern end of the border, there is no fence. Today, activity is monitored with cameras and ground sensors.

(Photo by Samuel Granados / The Post)

The Rio Grande also runs along rich natural areas like the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, where a barrier could cut access to endangered species like the ocelot. Local politicians, including some strong supporters of border enforcement like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), have expressed their opposition to a wall running along national parks such as Big Bend.

Gus Sanchez, superintendent of Chamizal National Memorial, who has years of experience working for the U.S. National Parks Service in the area, explained the overlap of social and natural boundaries between the U.S. and Mexico and said the existing fence cut the access to the river to local communities and wildlife.

“I tried once to explain to javelinas that this was an international boundary but they didn’t listen to me,” joked Sanchez, who has Native American and Mexican ancestors. “I guess they didn’t speak English or Spanish so they just ignored me.”

Sources: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, data.gov, Center for Investigative Reporting, Openstreetmap.org, the Texas Observer.

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