Outcry against the action was swift and fierce, with one advocacy group’s director calling the border wall “political theater at the expense of civil liberties.”
The border wall is estimated to cost as much as $25 billion, which would require spending authority from Congress, even in the highly improbable event that Mexico were to change its mind and accede to Trump’s demand that it reimburse the U.S. for the construction costs. (Trump even mentioned a discount to Mexico if it were to make a one-time payment of $5 billion to $10 billion.) It should be remembered that Obama signed an executive order in 2009 directing that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be closed. The facility is still open because Congress refused to appropriate the funds necessary to implement the executive order.