President Donald Trump indicated Oct. 16 he will insist on the inclusion of funding for a wall on the border with Mexico in the next spending bill.
"Our country needs a wall," said Trump, according to the Washington Examiner. "Mexico, you see what's happening there, you see what just happened yesterday with one of their big political leaders."
Although the president was not explicit, he was reportedly referring to the killing of a Mexican political leader on Oct. 14.
"Drugs are pouring across our border, we're stopping it, but we need a wall to really stop it," added Trump. "We need a wall in this country. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. We have to have a wall, so that's going to be part of it."
Republicans in the House are in the process of adopting a bill that would provide $10 billion in funding for the wall. The Homeland Security Committee approved the bill in a vote divided along party lines, meaning the bill can be put to a full House vote.
But Democrats are seeking to slow down the process. A number of Democratic representatives addressed a letter to Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, urging him to allow all six committees that have oversight over parts of the bill's provisions to be allowed to review them before a final vote.
"We respectfully request that each committee mark up this legislation and be given an opportunity to thoroughly examine and discuss provisions within our purview," the letter stated, according to Politico.
Even if Republicans pass the funding for the wall in the House, Democrats are expected to filibuster it in the Senate.
Trump has stated that funding for the wall should be part of a deal to protect young immigrants, who face the threat of deportation if a replacement is not found for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump canceled DACA in September.
Meanwhile, construction of a number of prototypes for the wall is underway in San Diego.
The requirements of the structures are "a fence that is impenetrable, it's unscalable," Roy Villareal, acting chief patrol agent of the San Diego border sector, told The Washington Post. "They can't dig under it. They can't cut through it."
Others are less convinced the wall will serve as an effective barrier. Seven tunnels have been uncovered in 2017 by the San Diego border sector, and Customs and Border Protection officials suggested that none of the prototypes go deep enough underground to stop tunnels.
Sources: Washington Examiner, Politico, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Office of the Speaker/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Tomascastelazo/Wikimedia Commons, Shealah Craighead/The White House/Wikimedia Commons