Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that erecting a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border can completely eliminate the flow of illegal immigrants from the south.
‘We’re going to end this illegality,’ Sessions said on the ‘Fox & Friends’ program. ‘We’re not going to stop until we get it done.’
‘Illegal border crossings have ‘already been reduced as much as 70 per cent … and we’re going to get it to zero and keep it there,’ he pledged.
The wall, which President Donald Trump made a centerpiece of his domestic agenda during the 2016 campaign, has become a hot potato in this week’s congressional battle over a government budget.
Republicans, said Sessions, should ‘remind Congress and the American people that this president promised this. They voted for it in large numbers. It was one of the great strengths in his campaign.’
Trump himself weighed in Monday morning on Twitter, writing that an impenetrable physical barrier on America’s southern border would be ‘a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others).’
‘If the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be! #BuildTheWall,’ the president continued.
Sessions, a former Alabama senator, suggested his former colleagues on the political left have no interest in supporting it – even though 26 Democratic senators including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton voted to fund 700 miles of border fencing a decade ago.
‘The Democrats are fighting a desperate rear-guard effort to stop the barrier and the stop the ending of illegality at the border,’ he claimed.
Trump has faced criticism for asking Congress for funding for the massive public works project, following repeated boasts that the nation of Mexico would pay for it.
In his first 13 weeks as president, he has taken a position that America’s neighbor to the south will ‘eventually’ cover the cost.
Sessions said Monday that the net savings to the government from no longer absorbing the financial costs of a torrent of border-jumpers would make a $21.6 billion wall a bargain by comparison.
‘It’s going to save a huge amount of money because we’re going to see this rapid decline in the number of people that come into our country illegally – housing, deportation cost – all kinds of costs will be reduced when we reduce that flow,’ he said.
And Sessions complained about Democrats who are stubborn in the face of multiple budgetary options that could be leveraged to compensate the treasury for construction costs.
‘Congress can find a host of ways to pay for this wall. It can be done through people who come to our country from Mexico – fees and costs – and even fixing a tax abuse situation that I believe would make a lot of the payment toward fixing it,’ he said.
‘It can be paid for over time,’ he added. ‘We’re going to save billions of dollars by ending this illegality.’