WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Today President Donald Trump said that he would be adding solar panels to the entire wall that will run along the U.S. border and Mexico.
“We’re gonna build the wall, and we’re gonna generate power, the best power, it will be great,” Trump told reporters. “We’ll be able to generate 200 watts of electricity every 5 feet. With how long my wall is going to be, a great wall, the best wall ever, we’ll be able to generate 400,000 watts of electricity every day. That’s enough power to light up Los Angeles and New York every night.”
The U.S. border with Mexico is roughly 2,000 miles long and underlines four states, from California to Texas, more than half of it along the Colorado River and Rio Grande.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, said Congress will follow through on Trump’s border wall order, and McConnell estimated it will cost $15 billion at most — he cited a range of $12 billion to $15 billion. With the solar panels, there will be an added cost of $5 billion dollars. But the Trump administration said the power generated by the panels will allow that $5 billion cost to be recouped in under two years.
On the campaign trail Trump’s immigration reform plan called for impounding remittance payments derived from illegal wages, a controversial idea, and imposing increased visa and entry fees to the United States from Mexico unless the latter agrees to finance the wall. Trump is also pushing border taxes more broadly against trading partners, which could help finance the wall.
Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute spoke to reporters about the current wall in place.
“The first miles of fencing were in the easiest places,” said Rosenblum. “There were fencing areas in or close to cities and accessible transportation, rather than deep in deserts or mountains. Additionally, the first miles were on public lands, while completing a border wall would require the government to acquire land from private holders. The GAO estimate for one difficult section of fencing near San Diego was $16 million.”
President Trump, speaking last year on the campaign trail spoke about the wall at almost every rally.
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively — I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
Sarah Bradley, a spokeswoman for Sock It Forward, a group that provides the homeless and those less fortunate with brand new socks, spoke to CNN about Trump’s decision.
“This is a story about Donald Trump adding solar panels to his wall the will run along the border of the U.S. and Mexico.” Bradley said. “I just want to say a big thanks to everyone that has supported our cause that gives brand new socks to the homeless, it means so much. Please, donate what you can, every bit helps.”
Trump tweeted today saying:
“Great news everyone! We’re gonna build the wall out of solar panels. We got power everyone! Done!”
Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin, a mascot for a Christian organization that travels around the country educating children about the dangers and consequences of masturbation, told CNN he believes what Trump is doing is wrong.
“Solar panels are bad because they take energy from the sun. If there is too many solar panels, there won’t be anymore sun, and we’ll all die. I appreciate Donald Trump and his strong stance on masturbation, but I don’t agree with this at all.”
The Trump Administration has set up a 24-hour hotline to address any questions and concerns the public may have regarding the solar panel wall. The number for that hotline is (785) 273-0325.