US planning steel barrier rather than concrete wall: Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the media as he arrives with first lady Melania Trump at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., after the Easter weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Washington: The United States is now planning to install a steel barrier instead of a concrete wall along its border with Mexico, President Donald Trump said indicating his administration and the opposition Democratic party are closer to resolving their difference on the issue, which has led to a partial government shutdown for a fortnight now.
“We are now planning a steel barrier rather than concrete (wall). It is both stronger & less obtrusive. Good solution, and made in the USA,” Trump said.
The presidential comment came soon after US Vice President Mike Pence held a meeting with representatives of the top Democratic Congressional leaders – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump described it as productive meeting.
“VP Mike Pence and group had a productive meeting with the Schumer and Pelosi representatives today. Many details of Border Security were discussed,” he said.
“We’ve been in touch with a lot of people, and I informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier. Steel. It’ll be made out of steel. It’ll be less obtrusive, and it’ll be stronger. But it’ll be less obtrusive, stronger, and we’re able to use our great companies to make it, by using steel,” Trump told reporters at the White House on his return from Camp David.
“So we’re going to be doing a steel barrier, and that gives us great strength at the border,” he said.
Responding to a question, Trump said the opposition Democrats did not like the option of a concrete wall along the Mexico border, so he has offered them with a steel one.
Trump argues that a physical barrier along the US-Mexico border is essential to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. The entry of illegal immigrants into the country – in hundreds and thousands – results in a big drain on the economy of the US running into billions.
“They don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel. Steel is fine. Steel is actually more expensive than concrete, but it will look beautiful and it’s very strong.
It’s actually stronger,” Trump told reporters explaining the reasons for moving towards a steel-based physical barrier rather than a concrete one.
“What we need is we need a strong border. We have criminals coming in. We have human traffickers coming in. We have drugs pouring in. We have things happening that you don’t want to even know about. And it’s been that way for decades, and we can’t have it anymore,” Trump said.
“Because of the strength of our economy — the stronger it is — it’s probably the greatest economy we’ve ever had. And because of that, it’s happening even more so. We have to stop it,” he asserted.