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Donald Trump: Border wall could begin in months

"What I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico," Trump said about a border wall Wednesday.

By
Andrew V. Pestano and Doug G. Ware
President Donald Trump is seen along with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L), White House Communications Director Hope Hicks (2L) and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (R) after signing five executive orders related to the oil pipeline industry in the oval office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Trump will take actions as president to begin the process of building a wall along the border with Mexico. Pool Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI
President Donald Trump is seen along with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L), White House Communications Director Hope Hicks (2L) and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (R) after signing five executive orders related to the oil pipeline industry in the oval office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Trump will take actions as president to begin the process of building a wall along the border with Mexico. Pool Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump is expected to take action Wednesday to divert federal resources to begin construction on a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, a White House source said -- construction that could begin within months.

The president will officially make several announcements related to immigration during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security at 1:25 p.m.

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"Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!" Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Trump is expected to direct the DHS to begin construction of the border wall, to repair existing areas of fencing along the border and to increase U.S. Customs and Border protection staff by 5,000, a White House source familiar with Trump's plan told CNN.

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Construction should happen within months, Trump told ABC News Wednesday.

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Trump's action will also order the DHS to publicly detail what aid it gives to Mexico -- aid which could be redirected to maintain Trump's pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall, the source added.

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"All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico," Trump said. "I'm just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form.

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"What I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico."

Trump noted that Mexico will reimburse the United States "100 percent."

Another Trump action will eliminate "sanctuary cities" -- cities that do not deport undocumented immigrants despite federal law -- while also increasing resources for Immigration and Custom Enforcement and directing the federal government to identify criminal undocumented immigrants living in the United States, the source said.

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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected visit Washington, D.C., to meet Trump before January ends. Peña Nieto has said Mexico will not pay for the wall and that his country "does not believe in walls, but in bridges."

Trump later this week will also possibly take action to reduce the number of refugees who can resettle in the United States, and to block Syrians and others from countries deemed afflicted by terrorism from entering, at least temporarily, The New York Times reported.

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In a draft of a separate executive order, Trump would start a review on whether to reinstate the "black site" detention program, in which secret interrogation and detention centers operated overseas. A draft of the order related to the once-secret CIA program said "no person in the custody of the United States shall at any time be subjected to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as describe by U.S. or international law."

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