It was a chant that rang out from rally to rally throughout the 2016 presidential campaign — “Build the wall! Build the wall!”
So, now that President Donald Trump has moved into the White House, the question is: When does construction start?
Trump revealed it early this week in an interview with ABC News. Construction will being within “months,” the president promised in the appearance.
And, yes, Mexico will pay for it.
“Ultimately, it will come out of what’s happening with Mexico … and we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico, which I’ve always said. I’m just telling you there will be a payment,” Trump said. “It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. What I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.”
On time and ahead of schedule – the Trump way.
“As soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it,” he said on the construction schedule. “I would say in months… certainly planning is starting immediately.”
Since his inauguration, Trump has moved aggressively to tighten the nation’s immigration policies. On Wednesday, the president signed executive actions to jumpstart early phases of the wall’s construction on a U.S.-Mexico border, as well as blocking federal grants from immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities.”
“We’ve been talking about this right from the beginning,” Trump said during the brief signing ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security.
U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for the upfront costs before being reimbursed in some way.
The orders Trump signed Wednesday also increase the number of border patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to be hired. And the president ordered the end of what Republicans have labeled a catch-and-release system at the border. Currently, some immigrants caught crossing the border illegally are released and given notices to report back to immigration officials at a later date.
The Associated Press contributed to this article