Homeland Security Chief: Border Wall Will Not Stretch ‘From Sea To Shining Sea’ (VIDEO)
Homeland Security chief John Kelly said Wednesday that the wall that President Trump has promised to build along the U.S.-Mexico border will not stretch “from sea to shining sea.”
“It is unlikely that we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea, but it is very likely, I’m committed to putting it where the men and women say we should put it,” Kelly, a retired general, said during testimony to the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
“Physical barriers do work if they’re put at the right places,” Kelly added.
Around 650 miles of wall and fencing already exists along the 2,200-mile border, but Trump has pledged to fill it in completely with a “big, beautiful wall.” His campaign initially set the cost of the barrier at $12 billion, but estimates provided by DHS put the price tag at more than $20 billion.
Construction is expected to take several years.
Kelly said that wall and fencing will be constructed where it’s needed most, with an emphasis on diverting illegal cross-border traffic near cities.
He noted that border patrol agents he has talked to tell him, “‘boss, if you can give me 27 more miles here, 16 more miles here, I don’t care about the other 140 miles I’m responsible for, but I need something that works.”
“If they can’t have the wall from sea to shining sea, then at least give them the wall, the physical barrier, the technology that will do the job for them in the locations where they’ve identified.”
One Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee welcomed Kelly’s statement.
“The sooner we stop this ‘we’re going to build a wall from sea to shining sea,’ the better,” Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said. “It’s embarrassing. It’s not going to happen. Everybody in Congress knows it’s not going to happen.”
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