The Trump administration is preparing to ask Congress for $18 billion to build President Donald Trump's envisioned "big, attractive wall" along the U.S. -Mexico border. The document also asks for 8, 5 billion in the next seven years for the payment of about 5,000 new border patrol agents and other officers that will be deployed along the border with Mexico. The entire border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, although much of it is already impassable. The funds, according to documents circulating in Congress, would pay for 723 miles of barrier - 316 miles of new construction, and 407 miles of upgrades in areas that are already fenced. Over 350 miles of the southern border are already blocked by physical barrier.
In return for the cash, the Trump administration will be expected to discuss a way forward for the so-called dreamers - illegal immigrants who were brought to the USA by their parents and know no other country.
The Democrats want to make DACA the focus of January's negotiations around funding the government, and Trump sees this as the ideal moment to throw in his border wall gambit. "With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction", Durbin said in a statement.
Durbin continued, "it's outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish-list of hard-line anti-immigrant bills-plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding-on the backs of these young people".
An administration official confirmed the document was prepared at the request of congressional negotiators and said funding for the wall and other security measures must be part of any legislative package on immigration.