NEW YORK – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump repeated on Friday that Mexico will reimburse the United States for the cost of building a wall on the border between the two countries.
Trump continued driving home that idea following reports that Republican leaders are weighing the possibility of getting the wall started as soon as possible with government financing under a 2006 law authorizing construction works on the border.
“The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!” Trump said in one of his tweets on Twitter.
In 2006, the Secure Fence Act was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush to build some 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) of “physical barriers” along the Mexican border. Several attempts to extend that length were unsuccessful.
That construction never went forward, however, so all that remains is to find the funding for a project that is already approved.
Last Oct. 22 during the electoral campaign, Trump gave assurances that Mexico would “reimburse” the United States for whatever expenses might be incurred in building the wall to stop the entry of undocumented immigrants.
“I said Mexico is paying for the wall, with the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such a wall, OK?” Trump said on that occasion, a claim he repeated Friday.
He had previously stated that Mexico would pay directly for those expenses.
Various media have estimated that Trump’s border project would cost some $10 billion.
Mexico, meanwhile, has said it will not pay a penny for the wall that Trump wants to build and that was one of the pillars of his campaign platform.
But Republican Congressman Chris Collins said Friday that Trump has “all the cards he needs” to apply the necessary pressure to obtain the reimbursement because “Mexico’s economy is dependent upon U.S. consumers.”