Since his election, Donald Trump has seemingly softened his stance on building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that parts of it could be a fence. He also hasn’t spoken lately about Mexico paying for a wall, a line that drew huge applause during his campaign rallies.
But U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, who is in the running to become Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, is renewing Trump’s campaign pledge for a border wall, and has come up with his own ideas on how Mexico can pay for it.
In an opinion article on Fox News, McCaul says the U.S. could pay for a wall by imposing new immigration fees on Mexicans, charge a “security toll” on border crossings, and freezing the assets of drug cartels.
He said other Latin American countries should help pay for the wall, as well.
“We are going to build the wall. Period. In the process, I pledge to stand side-by-side with the Trump administration to throw out Obama’s reckless immigration policies and start enforcing our nation’s laws,” wrote McCaul, who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
McCaul stood out among Texas politicians for his vocal support of Trump during the general election campaign, but he’s drawn fire recently from the right wing of his party, with some saying he hasn’t been tough enough on illegal immigration.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, for his part, said in an interview broadcast Sunday evening on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he supported a border fence in some areas.
“Conditions on the ground determine what you need in a particular area,” Ryan said. “Some areas, you might need a wall. Some areas, you might need double fencing. My own view on this is, whatever kind of device or barrier or policy to secure the border, that’s necessary to secure the border, then do it.”
Shortly after the election, Trump advisor Newt Gingrich called Trump’s call for a wall a “great campaign device” and said he wouldn’t spend much time trying to get Mexico to pay for it.