While many have speculated that President-elect Donald J. Trump won’t actually build a border wall, recent information requests from his transition team behind the scenes suggest otherwise.
Trump’s transition team placed requests with the Department of Homeland Security in early December, seeking information regarding what resources are available for barrier construction on the border, the feasibility on whether they could expand temporary immigrant detention facilities, and details on an aerial surveillance program that President Obama scaled back during his tenure.
The requests certainly suggest Trump is very serious about his campaign promises to “build the wall,” secure the border, and curb illegal immigration.
In a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis, President-elect Donald Trump‘s transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.
The team also asked about the department’s capacity for expanding immigrant detention and about an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the Obama administration but remains popular with immigration hardliners. And it asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties.
The requests were made in a Dec. 5 meeting between Trump’s transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials, according to an internal agency memo reviewed by Reuters. The document offers a glimpse into the president-elect’s strategy for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place by the Obama administration.
Shortly after those information requests were made, outgoing Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores explained that the Trump administration will pursue “a holistic approach to border security,” something demonstrated in the body of information being sought.
“In some areas we are going to have a wall,” Flores said. “In other areas where it’s less feasible to have a wall, then you’ll have a virtual wall that consists of airborne observation resources, censors, boots on the ground everywhere — whether there’s a physical wall or a virtual wall — then you’ll need to have intelligence assets to control the border.”
Regardless of what tactics are employed, it’s clear that the President-elect is more serious about tackling border control before he even steps foot in the White House, than his predecessor was during his entire eight years in office.