When will Trump's wall be built? Timeline for Trump's US-Mexico border plan

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Whenever the question of the wall is posed to President Donald Trump or any of his advisors, it tends to elicit a similar answer: The wall will be built, it won't be a fence and Mexico will pay for it — even if that means reimbursing Congress

But when will this wall actually be built? 

There are already portions of a barrier across the border 

Some call it a fence, others say it's a wall, but there are large portions of the U.S.-Mexican border that are already blocked off.
Source: 
Russell Contreras/AP

As the Washington Post pointed out, most of Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is already built. "Hundreds of miles of metal barriers already exist" across the border, the Post reported. It shouldn't come as a surprise: The U.S. government spends $5 billion more on immigration control and border security than on all other types of federal law enforcement combined. 

According to the Post, it would be in Trump's best interest to add to what's already there instead of tearing it down, making his wall just a part of the "border-building frenzy" that has been in place since President Bill Clinton, and continued by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. 

Building the wall will start ASAP

Trump at his Jan. 11 press conference where he said, "We're going to build a wall... I don't want to wait."
Source: 
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Trump has been clear about the fact that he wants to start building the wall as soon as possible. 

"We're going to build a wall," Trump said his Jan. 11th press conference. "I could wait about a year and a half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which will start immediately after we get to office, but I don't want to wait." 

In August, during his campaign against Hillary Clinton, Trump told his supporters, "Don't worry. We're gonna build a wall. That wall will go up so fast, your head will spin, and you'll say, 'You know, he meant it!'" 

How soon is ASAP?

Trump at a campaign rally in August
Source: 
Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

Trump's advisors have shied away from any clear timelines for the wall's completion. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani said in November that the wall "is going to take a long time" but would definitely be built, CNN reported. 

As of Jan. 5, the Chicago Tribune reported that "key policy decisions [about the wall] have not yet been made." 

Politifact attempted to estimate how long it would take to complete Trump's wall. It took over six years to build 700 miles of fence that currently exists across the U.S.-Mexico border, the site points out. 

A best-case scenario estimate for the wall's timeline came from James Jirsa, a civil engineering professor at the the University of Texas. His guess? 5 to 10 years would be a "reasonable" amount of time from the initial design to the wall's completion, barring any serious issues. 

According to Trump and his advisors, the wall will absolutely happen. It's just anyone's guess as to when. 

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Julia Tilford

Julia Tilford is a news writer for Mic.com.

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