While President Donald Trump gives engineers directions on how he wants the wall on the southern border to look, courts are considering the billions of dollars it would cost.
A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., is considered arguments in two cases on Friday that are trying to block the White House from spending Defense and Treasury Department money for wall construction. California and 19 other states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, brought the other lawsuit.
Next Thursday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. will consider an attempt by the U.S. House of Representatives to block Trump from spending any Defense Department money at all for a border wall.
The Defense Department transferred $1 billion to border wall coffers in March and another $1.5 billion last week. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan may decide on Wednesday whether or not to transfer an additional $3.6 billion for the border wall, according to the Associated Press.
Private contractors were awarded contracts this week worth many hundreds of millions of dollars just to replace already existing barriers.
While the courts and contractors are busy, Trump is too, according to reporting by the Washington Post. Trump wants the border wall to be a steel bollard fence, painted flat black so that, according to the president, it would be too hot for people to climb it. However, painting it black will raise costs for building and maintenance.
Trump also told Homeland Security officials and military engineers that the tips of the bollards should be pointed, not round. Trump went on to describe in “graphic terms” the potential injuries that migrants would suffer from the sharp tips.
On top of being potentially fatal to migrants, Trump wants the wall to be both imposing and aesthetically pleasing. Nice.