The “big, beautiful” wall that President Trump has promised to put on the border between the U.S. and Mexico will be more of a fence if officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) get their way.
After viewing an internal report from CBP and speaking to officials from both CBP and DHS, CNN says Trump will be pushed away from building the concrete and steel wall he has promised and toward a fence that covers less than half the length of the border.
The plan being most seriously considered at this point, CNN learned, is one that adds 177 miles of new fencing to the 654 miles that already exists, meaning 831 miles of the roughly 2,000-mile border would have a barrier. Importantly, that barrier would not be a wall.
“I’m not calling it a wall, because we are talking about a fence that we can look through. That’s what we need,” one Border Patrol official told CNN. Another official who prefers a fence to a wall said, “you never want to have a barrier in place that will obstruct your vision, that prevents you from seeing the other side of the border.”
That may be a tough sell for Trump, who in January scolded a reporter for calling his border barrier a “fence.”
“It’s not a fence, it’s a wall,” he said. “We’re going to build a wall.”