Donald Trump’s proposed border wall will be a waste of money, won’t work, won’t be paid for by Mexico, and probably isn’t going to happen anyway, according to a government report released Monday.
As NBC News reports, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday released a damning report about the prospects of the border wall and the money that has already been spent on it.
According to the report, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would be tasked with building and maintaining the wall, has already spent taxpayer money on prototypes for the wall — $20 million, according to The Daily Mail — while failing to take into account the magnitude of the project.
“By proceeding without key information on cost, acquisition baselines, and the contributions of previous barrier and technology deployments, DHS faces an increased risk that the Border Wall System Program will cost more than projected.”
What’s more, the DHS has failed to consider the geographical barriers to building the wall, such as mountain ranges, nor has it given any thought to the most cost-effective places to put the wall.
“CBP (Customs and Border Protection) does not have complete information to determine whether it is using its limited resources in the most cost-effective manner.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 6, 2018
Nobody is even clear how much the proposed border wall is going to cost, according to The Independent. Trump has made the border wall, and his promise that Mexico will pay for it, a key part of both his campaign and his presidency. He has suggested that it will cost $25 billion; as of this writing, Congress has failed to give him more than $1.6 billion. That money came in last year’s budget, and was earmarked only for repairs and upkeep to certain sections of the existing border fence. For next year’s budget, the House has offered $5 billion for the wall, while the Senate has offered $1.6 billion again.
Mexico, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that it will not be paying for the wall.
Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson said that the report confirms what he has always suspected, according to CBS News: that the border wall is a waste of money.
“This report exposes what we have suspected would happen for over a year. The Trump Administration, fixated on campaign promises no matter the cost or consequences, is rushing the construction of the President’s completely unnecessary border ‘wall.'”
DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman, however, insists that the wall is necessary.
“Walls have proven to be extremely effective at deterring illegal entries and the smuggling of illicit drugs into the United States.”
Trump has threatened to shut down the government if he doesn’t get the money necessary to build the border wall.