Border Wall: $1.4bn promised for wall in attempted deal

President Donald Trump walks to board Marine One for a trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to attend his annual physical, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Democrats and Republicans have arranged a deal in principle that will provide roughly $1.4bn for a border wall. However, it still needs to be approved by congress, and signed by President Donald Trump.

Trump spoke after the agreement was announced, but hinted that he would not back the deal, saying “we’re building the wall anyway”.

Trump wanted $5.7bn (£4.4bn) for a concrete border wall, a request that the Democrats have refused, with the dispute putting the US government into a shutdown that lasted 35 days, and cost the country an estimated $11bn.

This deal will not give trump the money he wants for a border wall, but instead promises $1.375bn (£1bn) for 55 miles of “physical barriers”, which includes “steel bollard” fencing. Trump wanted money for 200 miles of wall.

Republican Senator Richard Shelby has said that all outstanding issues were resolved in a closed-door meeting in Washington.

“We got an agreement on all of it. Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together. We believe that if this becomes law, it’ll keep open the government.”

Earlier, the talks had reached an impasse with Democrats demanding a limit to the number of undocumented migrants already in the US who could be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Democrats gave up on that demand and instead it was agreed to reduce the number of beds in detention centres to 40,250 from the current 49,057, reports say.

By Monday night, some of the president’s conservative allies had already denounced the deal, with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity calling it a “garbage compromise”.

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