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Texas Matters: Is Trump's Border Wall Realistic?

David Martin Davies
A border Patrol watchtower in the Rio Grande Valley

In his first week in the Oval Office President Donald Trump fast-tracked his main campaign promise - the Border Wall. At a May 2016 campaign stop in Phoenix Trump joined the crowd in the chant "Build that wall."

Now that Trump has won the electoral college and became President, he’s moving forward with building that wall. On Wednesday he signed executive orders to begin construction of the Wall and called for a newly expanded deportation force to arrest, detain and expel unauthorized immigrants with criminal records.

Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto were due to meet in Washington D.C. to discuss the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  On Thursday Pena Nieto canceled the meeting in reaction to the Wall order.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also told reporters on Air Force One Thursday that Trump was considering a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the border wall.

Hours after that announcement the White House appears to be walking the 20% tariff back.

I spoke with Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar about the situation. He represents the Texas border district that covers San Antonio to Laredo and has been instrumental in past negotiations with Mexico regarding trade, the drug war and immigration.

Segment 2

Now that building the border wall has the presidential green light, what does it take to build that structure? Adolfo Matamoros is a Peter T Flawn distinguished professor of civil engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He’s done extensive research in the design and behavior of concrete and steel structures.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi