Nov 14, 2016 3:47 PM
Remember Donald Trump's "big, beautiful wall" at the Mexican border?
Well, it might end up being a little different than originally thought. Trump said Sunday night in an interview with "60 Minutes" that he may be amenable to a fence along some parts of the roughly 2,000-mile border.
The softened stance contrasts sharply with Trump's campaign rhetoric. As a candidate, he called for everyone living in the country illegally to return to their home countries and for Mexico to pay billions of dollars for the wall.
"I will build a great, great wall on our southern border," Trump said as he launched his presidential campaign in June 2015. "And I will have Mexico pay for that wall."
He repeated the pledge at almost every rally. But in his weekend interview, Trump took a more nuanced approach.
In certain areas, Trump said, "it could be some fencing." Elsewhere, he added, the border wall was still appropriate.
The president-elect didn't outline where a fence or a wall might fit better. But his willingness to consider fencing marked a considerable concession from his campaign stance.
Border fencing is nothing new. There is fencing along about 650 miles in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, encompassing almost a third of the border.
Under President George W. Bush, Congress authorized $1.2 billion to build hundreds of miles of double-layered fencing. The Congressional Research Service and the Army Corps of Engineers have estimated that the fencing already in place cost the United States about $7 billion.
Any new construction along the border would be a costly and complicated endeavor. Cost estimates of a wall have ranged from $10 billion to $20 billion.
Trump would also face myriad environmental regulations, objections from private land owners and a legally binding 1970 treaty with Mexico that governs structures along the Rio Grande and Colorado River at the Mexican border.
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