By David K. Martin / December 9, 2017 at 8:01pm Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, is urging the Trump administration to reconsider its stance on the so-called border wall.
“I think the wall should be built in two phases,” Lee told ABC News on Tuesday, adding that she “would be all for” it.
“The first phase would include the construction of a fence along the entire border.”
She also expressed support for the border wall in the context of “an end to all immigration.”
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Trump Administration also called the plan to build a wall “sustainable and achievable.”
“The United States has built a border wall along our southern border, and we will continue to do so until it’s finished,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke.
“It will cost millions of dollars and take years to construct.
But, I am confident that it will serve the public interest and reduce the risk of terrorists and drug smugglers crossing our border.”
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Lee is seeking a congressional hearing in support of the border fence plan, which would cost between $1 billion and $5 billion per mile.
Lee is the third member of Congress to call on the Trump White House to reconsider the wall.
On Tuesday, New York Representative Peter King, who has advocated building a border fence for decades, tweeted that the wall is “essential to keeping our country safe and securing our borders.”
Lee’s remarks came just a day after House Republicans voted in favor of a bill that would require the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to build prototypes of a border fencing system.
The legislation, the Secure Fence Act of 2017, passed the House of Representatives on Monday by a vote of 217-203.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
“While I fully support a border barrier, it must be a fence,” Lee said on Tuesday.
“We can build the fence, but we can’t build it in two days.”
Lee was among the first Democrats to call for a wall in March of this year.
In that same month, she also wrote an op-ed in The Wall St. Journal criticizing Trump’s proposed border wall as a “slush fund.”
“This is not the right time to build the wall,” Lee wrote.
“Our nation’s security depends on it, not on slush money that’s supposed to pay for it.”
Lee also pushed back against Trump’s plans for the construction and maintenance of a wall that he says are needed to deter the spread of the Ebola virus.
“A wall that blocks our borders, not just makes people less safe, is not what this country needs,” Lee argued.
“When a president promises the country, as President Trump has promised, that we will build a border and a wall, he must show he’s taking the American people’s concerns seriously.
That’s what he promised, and that’s what the American voters sent him to Washington to do.”
Lee said in her op-Ed that Trump’s wall proposal “is an empty threat and a reckless threat.”
“Trump’s border wall is a threat that will fail, and will put millions of people at risk, and the only way to make our country safer is to build more walls,” she said.
“If the border walls are built, we will not know how many lives are lost.”