President Trump's wall plan was controversial from the moment he announced his run for the presidency. This concrete wall will cost between $8 billion and $12 billion and rise 35 to 50 feet, or possibly taller. President Trump says himself that the wall doesn’t need to span the 2,000 miles that comprises the Mexican border, but only half due to natural borders.
President Trump also claims that Mexico will pay for the wall. Additional expenses for the wall including fencing which will cost approximately $5.1 billion to $25 billion. Realistically the President will not be able to secure $25 billion but possibly half of that amount. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has stated that there’s "no way" his country would pay for the wall. There are several possible ways to pay for the wall; and a few include increasing fees for visas and border crossing cards as well as strictly enforcing trade tariffs. The question remains once the wall is finished, how effective will it be?
President Trump's wall has some requirements that need to be met. One requirement is that the wall must be constructed of reinforced concrete and be physically imposing in height. The government also wants to make the wall impenetrable to a certain degree. Another requirement is that the wall should not be possible to climb unassisted. Furthermore it needs to include anti-climb topping features. Recent administrations have also put forth effort toward securing the United States southern border.
In 2006 President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act. This act initiated the construction of miles of fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border. This act also added additional vehicle barriers, checkpoints and advanced technology to protect and secure the border. President Trump has cited the Secure Fence Act as the legal authority by which to restart the work on border barriers. The construction of the wall can begin immediately, but Congress must approve a majority of the funding. In January of of this year President Trump pointed to Israel's wall as a successful model. He stated that, “they were having a total disaster coming across, and they had a wall. It's 99.9 percent stoppage."
The nation is divided on this matter. Currently 40% of U.S. citizens believe the southern border is not an issue at all. However, an equal percentage of U.S. citizens believe the southern border is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Only 19% of U.S. citizens say it is not that important of an issue at this juncture. This data was provided by a recent Pew Research Center survey.
In summation, it's difficult to pre judge the effectiveness of something that hasn't been done before in this country. Also there's no guarantee that it will be funded and subsequently constructed. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. On the surface I can't see how the construction of a border wall wouldn't assist in the control over unfettered illegal immigration.