Trump's border 'wall' price tag jumps again, report says

Trump orders extreme vetting measures for refugees and bans Syrians

A report completed by the Department of Homeland Security and leaked to the Reuters news agency on Thursday, pegs the cost of extending the existing barrier along the southern border at $21.6 billion, nearly double the $12 billion figure that Trump floated during his presidential campaign. President Donald Trump had previously said the wall could cost $12 billion. The unexpectedly high cost of acquiring private land is one of the reasons for the higher price.

The report also shows that the government has started to seek waivers on environmental laws for building in some areas.

The figure is contained in a report commissioned by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, and has been seen by Reuters, the agency said.

The report also assumes that construction of the wall would commence by September 2017.

Citing an internal Department of Homeland Security memo, Reuters reported that the wall plan would include fencing and be built in three phases by the end of 2020.

The Southern border stretching 1900 miles along all types of terrains and covers four states: California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas.

This meeting came just a week after Pena's cancelled trip to the USA - the trip was scuttled after Mr. Trump's tweet suggesting the Mexican president shouldn't come if he would not pay for the wall. No verification was received from Mexican officials if the matter of the proposed border wall was discussed. Mexico too had strongly objected to the wall, with President Enrique Pena Nieto refusing to pay for it. Not only that, our government's failure to do its job on this front has created a host of economic and national security issues - and recurring obligations on taxpayers that dwarf the cost of Trump's wall.

Lockheed Martin said in a statement that 'President Trump's personal involvement in the F-35 program accelerated the negotiations and sharpened our focus on driving down the price'.

Interestingly, the existence of this report comes just a few days after Trump announced that "The wall is getting designed right now".

Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion.

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