Vice President Mike Pence has launched an official petition demanding Congress set aside funds to build the wall on America’s border with Mexico that was President Trump’s signature campaign promise.
The “Official Build the Wall Petition” aims to “extinguish” rumors that the plan for the wall is doomed due to lack of funding, the vice president claimed in an email Friday.
“Despite what you might hear from the talking heads in the media, this administration is 100% committed to building a wall along the southern border of the United States of America,” he wrote. “Now liberals in the Senate need to hear that YOU, the American people, are ALSO 100% committed to seeing that critical wall built along the border.”
Trump visited San Diego this week to evaluate eight border-wall prototypes. The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection agency is expected to choose a design from among them soon.
“If we don’t have a wall system, we’re not going to have a country,” Trump tweeted after his California visit.
If we don’t have a wall system, we’re not going to have a country. Congress must fund the BORDER WALL & prohibit grants to sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten the security of our country & the people of our country. We must enforce our laws & protect our people! #BuildTheWall pic.twitter.com/NGqNueukvj
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Trump has asked Congress for $18 billion for the wall, of which Congress has only provided $341 million so far for “to replace approximately 40 miles of existing primary pedestrian and vehicle border fencing…and to add gates to existing barriers.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security predicted a complete wall would cost $21.6 billion and take more than three years to build.
Republicans are pushing to include $1.6 billion to begin construction on the wall in the spending bill that must be passed by March 23. They also want to devote hundreds of millions of dollars to hiring more ICE agents, among other immigration-related initiatives.
Democrats have sounded the alarm on the proposal to fund the wall, calling it wasteful and harmful to non-criminal illegal immigrants.