President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico was supposed to be meeting with President Trump next week. However, in light of Trump’s executive orders to begin planning for a new wall on the southern border and the hiring of thousands of new Border Patrol agents, President Nieto is said to be reconsidering. From the Associated Press:
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted his country will not pay for a wall, has been expected to meet with Trump at the White House next week, although a spokesman for the Mexican leader said Trump’s announcement had led him to reconsider the visit…
Trump has insisted many times the border structure will be a wall. The order he signed referred to “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous and impassable physical barrier.”
Of course the big question is whether or not Trump will attempt to make good on his frequent promise to make Mexico pay for the wall. Mexico has repeatedly said it will not pay, but in an interview earlier today Trump state unequivocally that Mexico would reimburse the cost. “Ultimately it will come out of what is happening with Mexico. We are going to be starting those negotiations relatively soon, and we will be, in a form, reimbursed by Mexico,” Trump told ABC News. Trump added, “I’m just telling you, there will be a payment, it will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form.”
The initial work of planning construction will be covered by $100 million in appropriations left over in a DHS account. In 2006, Congress authorized the construction of 2,000 miles of fencing along the border. About 700 miles were eventually built. Trump said planning for the wall would begin almost immediately.
The executive orders signed today also include a call to hire thousands of new Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. Marielena Hincapié of the National Immigration Law Center told CNN, “Trump is taking a wrecking ball to our immigration system. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that chaos and destruction will be the outcome.”