Ahead of President Donald Trump’s first full day in office, a federal official has suggested the US might build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Trump administration is also set to propose adding border fences to existing barriers in the US and Mexico, as part a border security effort.
On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the administration is looking at ways to keep out people and drugs from entering the US.
“We’re going to keep people out of the United States if we can.
We’re going have the strongest border in the world,” she said.
The president on Friday announced the construction of a wall in the Arizona desert between the US state of Arizona and Mexico and said the wall would cost $21bn and take six years to build.
Sanders added that the wall, which would be built with funds from Congress, would also be made available for construction on the US side of the border.
“The wall will not be built by contractors.
It will be built on private-sector land.
And that’s not going to be the same thing as a fence,” she told reporters.
Trump’s administration has faced criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for the wall proposal.
“As a result of a border wall’s lack of border-control capacity, tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants have entered the United State without authorization and are now crossing the Rio Grande River in Texas,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement.
“This administration’s proposed wall will create an additional barrier to border security, while further destabilising communities along the Mexican border, including communities of color, who already face barriers to getting health care, education and jobs,” Romero added.
Trump has vowed to build the wall if elected president.
“It will be paid for, it will be financed, it’s going to happen,” he said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on January 6.