President Trump assured the crowd at his rally in Nashville, Tennessee this week that his border wall is happening. And it appears that is the case. Last month, the Trump administration began taking bids from contractors for building the wall on the Mexican border, and the President's budget released this week allocates some $4.1 billion for the wall project, although Trump insists Mexico will ultimately pay for it. The federal government has even begun sending out notices to landowners near the border about acquiring their property for the project.
While the debate rages on in Washington, D.C. over the cost and necessity of the border wall, many of those who live and work near the border are expressing support. "The fence essentially protects the agents, it lowers their risk, and it gives us time to respond to illegal activity," says Border Patrol agent Anthony Porvaznik in an interview with Fox News. Porvaznik is talking about the fence that's already been constructed over part of the border during the last decade.
That message was echoed by Sylvester Reyes, a former Border Patrol official and U.S. Congressman who also spoke with Fox News. "From an officers' safety standpoint, from a managing the border standpoint, (the wall) is very effective," he says.
Dorine Wilson, who has a warehouse in El Paso, has seen first-hand the positive effects of a border fence. She told Fox News her warehouse was plagued by illegal aliens hiding from Border Patrol or sneaking in to sleep for the night, until the fence went up nearby. "We haven't had a single person cross since then, not one," she says.
The Trump administration hasn't given a specific timetable for completion of the wall, but in an interview earlier this year Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he hopes to have it finished in two years.