President Donald Trump doubled down on his border wall plans during a meeting at the White House on immigration, telling his Department of Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, that he could get it done in a year.
And, he added, she should stop telling Americans that it would take seven years to build.
The talk came as Americans supportive of Trump were growing a bit wary of his shift on DACA. Trump, from the campaign trail, spoke harshly of the Barack Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying it was brought into existence illegally, by executive order.
He vowed to put an end to the program. In September, Trump’s Homeland Security announced it would stop taking applications.
This week, a federal court in California ruled the White House would have to continue processing expansion and renewal DACA applications, and that authorities couldn’t deport existing program recipients. The court also ruled the White House did not have to process applications for those who’ve never been a part of DACA, however.
And at a separate White House meeting on immigration with lawmakers, Trump suggested he would “take the heat” for Republicans and Democrats who might anger constituents with a deal that gave DACA recipients a right to stay in-country — an amnesty provision — and that he would sign a bipartisan bill on the program if congressional members sent one to his desk.
But he also wants the wall. And he made that clear during this same meeting.
Breitbart has more:
During a meeting at the White House on immigration, President Trump told Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen never to “mention seven years again” in reference to the timeframe that DHS claimed it would take to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I can build it for less,” Trump said in regard to the recent DHS report which stated that it would cost them $18 billion to build the border wall.
“I must tell you, I’m looking at these prices and somebody said $42 billion,” Trump said. “This is like the aircraft carrier. It started off at a billion and a half and its now at $18 billion. No, we can do it for less.”
The DHS report, released by Nielsen, also noted that it would take 7 to 10 years for the border wall along the southern border to be constructed and finished, an estimate that Trump said he never wanted to hear mentioned again.
“We can do a great job. We can do a great wall, but you need the wall and I’m now getting involved. I like to build under budget, okay. I like to go under budget, ahead of schedule.”
“There’s no reason for 7 years, also.” Trump said as he looked and motioned at Nielsen. “I heard the other day, please don’t do that to me. Seven years to build a wall?! We can build the wall in one year.”
“Yes sir,” Nielsen responded.
“And we can build it for less much money than what they’re talking about,” Trump said as he leaned in to tell Nielsen.
“There is no reason to ever mention 7 years again, please,” Trump told Nielsen.
“I heard that I said I wanted to come out with a major news conference Tom, yesterday,” Trump said, pointing at Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), an ally of the president’s pro-American immigration agenda.
“It could go up quickly, it could go up effectively…” Trump said.
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