Last month, President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team requested a wide range of documents and analysis information on current border security and surveillance, as well as a report on the capacity for expanding immigrant detention, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Information Requests Made By Trump's Transition Team
According to Reuters, the requests were made in a meeting between Trump's transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials. The information requested includes:
- an assessment of all assets available for border wall and barrier construction along the southern and northern border
- a capacity report for expanding immigrant detention centers
- a report on an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the Obama administration
- copies of every executive order and directive sent to immigration agents since Obama took office in 2009
- a report on whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants
Speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, a DHS official said the agency interpreted the information request to mean Trump's transition team wanted to ensure that federal workers were not altering information on immigrants to protect DACA holders and others from deportation.
During his campaign, Trump vowed to deport more undocumented immigrants, a promise that may have prompted his team's request for information about the capacity of expanding temporary detention facilities.
Cost of Building Borders
At Trump transition team's request, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection prepared a comprehensive picture of border security, including resources available for building barriers.
According to documents reviewed by Reuters, the estimated cost of building borders would be:
- $3.3 billion for building a 452 mile barrier along our border with Canada
- $11.37 billion for adding 413 miles to our border with Mexico
Finishing the southern border with Mexico is more expensive because it would be aimed at keeping out both pedestrians and vehicles. Pedestrian fences, however, require more staff and would cost $11.2 million per mile versus $4.1 million per mile to build a regular barrier.
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