US President Donald Trump asked Congress for about $18 billion dollars for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, The Wall Street Journal revealed.
The request delivered to lawmakers last week, was prepared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and offers the most detailed description of the work so far.
The $18 billion in funds would be used over the next 10 years to expand the fences that now cover about 1,000 miles of border area, which would mean the coverage of about half of the southwestern US border.
The wall request, which drew strong opposition from Democrats and other White House personnel, threatens to make those negotiations even more troubled than they already are.
The document also asks for $8.5 billion over the next seven years for the payment of some 5,000 new border patrol agents and other officers that will be deployed along the border with Mexico.
DHS made clear that the administration also wants a sweeping set of immigration-enforcement and other policy changes that the White House detailed in October. In a letter to Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, the agency reiterated that these priorities “must be included as part of any legislation” addressing Dreamers.
In addition, the document lays out some $33 billion in desired new border security spending over 10 years, including technology, personnel and roads.
The Trump administration has already requested $1.6 billion for a new barrier in Texas and San Diego during the current fiscal year. Congress has not approved the spending project for 2018, and the financing of the wall is one of the pending projects.
Mr. Trump campaigned on a promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the Mexico border to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking promising Americans that Mexico would pay for it. Congress hasn’t agreed to spend any money on the project and Mexico has repeatedly said it won’t.