Construction has begun on the $1.6 billion border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, as the Trump administration looks to speed up the construction process.
The White House announced Thursday that the project has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
Construction has begun.
President Donald Trump speaks during a joint news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.K., October 12, 2019.
(Reuters/Carlos Barria)”We’ve made progress, and we’re going to continue to make progress, on the wall,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told reporters Thursday at the Federal Building in Washington.
Kelly also noted that the construction will take a couple more months.
The Department of Transportation is expected to complete the first phases of the project by the end of the year.
The new wall is expected cost more than $10 billion, according to an estimate from the White Helmets, a Syrian relief organization that is working on the project.
Kelly said the construction of the wall would not be affected by the election.
He said he was confident the wall will be built and the border will remain secure.
Trump has previously said that the wall is the most important piece of infrastructure the United States needs, and he has repeatedly pledged to build it.
The construction of a border barrier will likely increase the number of people crossing the border illegally, according a U.N. report released in October, and the report found that the number would jump significantly in the next 10 years.
Ns report also found that in 2019, nearly 4 million people crossed into the U,S.
illegally from Mexico.
The U. Nations agency said that border crossers have become increasingly aggressive and dangerous.
More than 3,000 people have died along the border in 2019.