President-elect Donald Trump's border wall may just be a fence

Source: AP
Source: AP

Republican President-elect Donald Trump's much-vaunted border wall — which Trump has promised will be between 30 and 65 feet tall, despite the enormous difficulties that would be involved in building such a barrier — may end up being more of a fence.

In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Trump said that whether certain sections of the barrier end up being a "wall" or a "fence" is negotiable, and "for certain areas I would" accept a fence, Reuters reported.

"But certain areas, a wall is more appropriate," Trump added. "I'm very good at this, it's called construction, there could be some fencing."

The U.S. has already constructed over 650 miles of fencing covering nearly a third of the 1,954 mile border with Mexico at a cost of over $7 billion. Immigration experts say the barriers are easy to breach and difficult to maintain, as well as trivial to bypass entirely with techniques like tunneling. (A wall, however, may not be much more secure.)

But as Trump walked back his promises on the wall, he also promised to deport up to three million undocumented immigrants who "are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers," USA Today reported.

He added, "After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we're going to make a determination on the people that they're talking about who are terrific people."

While Trump said the initial two to three million deported would be criminals, USA Today wrote immigration experts believe the total number of criminal undocumented immigrants is much lower. Immigrants, including undocumented ones, are in fact less likely to commit violent crimes or land in jail.

As Vox recently noted, dramatically increasing deportations would be a relatively easy task for the Trump administration, given the federal government's pre-existing immigration enforcement infrastructure and the president's ability to exercise (or more importantly, not) "prosecutorial discretion" in who and how many get deported. Trump could also ramp up partnerships with local police forces to arrest and deport large numbers of undocumented immigrants.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Donald Trump is hurting America's image around the world, new Pew Research Center study finds

The leader of the free world apparently has image problems at home AND abroad.

Even Donald Trump's schedule has become a victim of a White House push against transparency

"Unreportable" public schedules, off camera briefings, secret visitor logs ... Where does it end?

The CBO score says 22 million will lose coverage. Here's why it's actually a lot worse than that.

Republicans wrote the bill so that much of the coverage losses wouldn't be captured by the CBO report.

CBO Score: Senate Republican health care bill will cost 22 million people their coverage

That's 1 million fewer than under the House-passed health care bill.

Trump tweeted that the Supreme Court decided "9-O" to uphold the travel ban. It didn't.

No, the Supreme Court didn't decide "9-O" on anything.

Americans with disabilities are fighting the Senate's potentially devastating health care bill

The bill threatens programs that are vital to the independence of America's disabled community.

Donald Trump is hurting America's image around the world, new Pew Research Center study finds

The leader of the free world apparently has image problems at home AND abroad.

Even Donald Trump's schedule has become a victim of a White House push against transparency

"Unreportable" public schedules, off camera briefings, secret visitor logs ... Where does it end?

The CBO score says 22 million will lose coverage. Here's why it's actually a lot worse than that.

Republicans wrote the bill so that much of the coverage losses wouldn't be captured by the CBO report.

CBO Score: Senate Republican health care bill will cost 22 million people their coverage

That's 1 million fewer than under the House-passed health care bill.

Trump tweeted that the Supreme Court decided "9-O" to uphold the travel ban. It didn't.

No, the Supreme Court didn't decide "9-O" on anything.

Americans with disabilities are fighting the Senate's potentially devastating health care bill

The bill threatens programs that are vital to the independence of America's disabled community.