Trump’s border wall: A look at the numbers


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One of President Trump’s biggest campaign promises was his vow to build a wall along the country’s southernmost border.

Congress has yet to fund the wall, and Trump’s demands that Mexico pay for it have gone nowhere. However, the president has seemingly evolved on what he’s called the “big, beautiful wall,” as he has contended a physical structure might not be needed “where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting” the border.

Read on for a closer look at Trump’s proposed border wall by the numbers.


U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump acknowledges supporters prior to formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid  - TB3EB6G1A5EOV

Donald Trump announced in June 2015 that he was running for president. In his speech, he promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

 (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Trump first proposed the border wall when he announced his presidential candidacy in June 2015. It was then that he made the controversial remarks about the people emigrating from Mexico.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said on June 16, 2015. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” 

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me,” Trump said. “I’ll build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”


U.S. Border patrol agents man the fence with Mexico at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., April 30, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake - RC1B3D93CF00

U.S. Border Patrol Agents man the fence between the U.S. and Mexico in San Diego, Calif.

 (Reuters/Mike Blake)

The continental border between the U.S. and Mexico stretches for nearly 2,000 miles. The land border reaches across four states: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

The entire border extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

18 billion

A U.S. border patrol agent looks over the Rio Grande river at the border between United States and Mexico, in Roma, Texas, U.S., May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria           SEARCH "BARRIA BORDER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. - RC1BEFCA5840

A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks over the Rio Grande River at the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Roma, Texas.

 (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Trump unveiled his budget plan in February 2018 and included in it a $23 billion request for border security. Of that, $18 billion would be designated to building the border wall. 


A worker stands next to a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Sunland Park, U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 25, 2017. Picture taken from the Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez - RC1E79E73750

A worker stands next to a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence opposite Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.

 (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

A Department of Homeland Security report estimated that 170,000 people successfully entered the U.S. illegally from the southern border in 2015. That number is significantly less than the 1.7 million people estimated to have entered in 2005.

5.6 million

Undocumented students join a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program outside the Edward Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. President Donald Trump says he'll be announcing a decision on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children in the coming days, immigrants he's calling "terrific" and says he loves. Trump told reporters Friday, using a short-hand term for the nearly 800,000 young people who were given a reprieve from deportation and temporary work permits under the Obama-era DACA, program. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Undocumented students hold a rally in support of DACA, the Obama-era program that in part protects certain young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

 (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

There were approximately 5.6 million “unauthorized immigrants” from Mexico by 2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center. That number has decreased from 6.4 million in 2009.


This photo show a concept illustration of a U.S.-Mexico border enforcement zone during a news conference where U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello, announced Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 in Washington, the selected vendors for construction of the concrete wall prototypes for the border wall. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

This photo shows a concept illustration of a U.S.-Mexico border enforcement zone during a news conference where U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello announced the selected vendors for construction concrete prototypes of the border wall.

 (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Four companies were selected to build concrete prototypes of the border wall, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced in August 2017.

Those companies are: the Caddell Construction Company of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction Company of Houston, Texas; and WG Yates and Sons Construction of Philadelphia, Miss.

The prototypes will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide and will cost up to $500,000 to make.


FILE - This Oct. 26, 2017 file photo shows prototypes of border walls in San Diego. A federal judge in San Diego who was taunted by Donald Trump during the presidential campaign has sided with the president on a challenge to building a border wall with Mexico. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 rejected arguments by the state of California and advocacy groups that the administration overreached by waiving laws requiring environmental and other reviews before construction could begin. (AP Photo/Elliott Spagat, File)

This photo shows prototypes of border walls in San Diego.

 (AP Photo/Elliott Spagat)

U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled against an environmental challenge to the border wall on Feb. 27. In a 101-page ruling, Curiel wrote that Congress and the executive branch “share responsibilities in protecting the country from terrorists and contraband illegally entering at the borders.”

Curiel’s ruling allows the administration to issue waivers on environmental laws and begin to build sections of the border wall.

However, in a tweet, Trump said he will not approve sections of the wall in California to be built “until the whole Wall is approved.”


A prototype for U.S. President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico is seen through a hole in the the current border fence, in this picture taken from the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana, Mexico March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido - RC11C9B77430

A prototype for President Trump’s wall is seen through a hole in the fence on the Mexico side of the border.

 (Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

Trump is visiting California on March 13 to survey eight towering prototypes for the wall, among other things. 

“We’re going out to the wall,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House. “We’re going to be looking at the prototypes, which is very important for our country.”

Trump is expected to be briefed on lessons learned from the construction of the prototypes built in San Diego last fall. He will also meet with border agents and officers to ask what they need, Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

Fox News’ Alex Papppas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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