Mexico Wall

Early in the campaign, Trump committed to building a wall between the United States and its southern ally. He has backed up that rhetoric with an Executive Order to do just that. There is continued debate about not only the need, purpose, and construction of such a wall, but also who will pay for it. 

See also Mexico.

Timeline

Assessments

Peter Andreas — The Washington Post

On Jan. 26, 2017, Andreas notes that Trump probably will build his wall because most of it is already built. 

Trump has dismissed the current state of border security as “a joke,” but he’ll soon find that the bipartisan border policing boom started in the 1990s will be crucial to keeping his wall pledge. Trump’s plan calls for a wall that covers 1,000 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile-long border — with natural obstacles covering the remainder. Nearly 700 miles of various types of border fencing are already in place, and portions of it very much look like a formidable metal wall. It is hard to imagine Trump tearing all that fencing up and starting from scratch.

What’s much more realistic is that Trump will simply add more miles of fencing; reinforce existing fencing in key, visible places; and deploy even more border guards, stadium lighting, and the latest high-tech detection and surveillance equipment.

Seth Stodder — Politico

In his Jan. 25, 2017, article, Stodder posits that Trump's wall attacks the wrong immigration crisis.

...according to the Pew Research Center, more Mexicans now leave the U.S. than head north, and border apprehensions are down a whopping 75 percent since 2000. Simply put, fewer people are coming, and our border authorities catch and remove most who try.

This is not to say there isn’t a crisis, however. There is one, but it’s different from the one Trump thinks exists. It doesn’t involve Mexican migrants, and a wall won’t solve it. The actual crisis involves thousands of migrants from Central America’s “Northern Triangle” — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — who are fleeing brutal gang violence, extreme poverty or malnutrition. Roughly half of these migrants are women and young children escaping desperate circumstances, facing the real possibility of death or rape if they stay. Others are fleeing extreme poverty in remote regions where education ends at the sixth grade and families are limited to one meal a day.

America obviously cannot solve all the economic problems of Central America, but under U.S. and international law, all migrants are afforded the opportunity to apply for asylum protection if they make it to U.S. soil.

Further research