The Trump administration won’t attempt to build a barrier along the entire length of the nation’s 2,000-mile border with Mexico, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said yesterday. “It’s unlikely we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea,” he told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The pledge to build a wall was the cornerstone of Donald Trump’s campaign for president, with Trump declaring “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.” Yesterday, no Republican fully defended Trump’s position, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested a wall could be defined several ways, such as having drones, towers, fences and technology to detect tunnels. Trump is proposing that Congress spend $4.1 billion to begin construction on a border wall with Mexico.
Kelly said Wednesday that some sort of wall would be built but he did not have an estimate of how much it will cost U.S. taxpayers and exactly where it would go. “We’ll do it where it makes sense and what makes sense,” Kelly said. “There’s no determination right now what this thing will look like and how long it will be.” Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the committee’s top Democrat, said Trump needs to acknowledge there won’t be a Mexican-funded wall stretching across the southern border. “It’s embarrassing, it’s not going to happen. Everybody in Congress knows it’s not going to happen, every Republican knows it, every Democrat knows it. It makes no sense,” McCaskill said.