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Build the Wall

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President Trump looking at new border wall prototypes in San Diego, March 2018

"Build the Wall" is an American political slogan that emerged from the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign. The slogan refers to a wall that Trump promised to build along the Mexico–United States border if elected. Trump further promised that Mexico would pay for the wall.



The idea of the wall was first developed by campaign advisers Sam Nunberg and Roger Stone in summer 2014 as a memorable talking point Trump could use to tie his business experience as a builder and developer to his anti-immigration policy proposals.[1] The wall was first positively received by conservative activists in January 2015 at the Iowa Freedom Summit hosted by Citizens United and Steve King, as well as two days later on conservative morning show Fox & Friends.[2][3]


A Build The Wall rally in The Villages, Florida - January 2019.

The idea of the wall became popular enough among Trump's supporters that chants of "Build the Wall" became common at Trump ralies.[4] After Trump won the 2016 election, reports emerged that the chant was being used by some children to bully their Latino classmates, and that the locations of these incidents were at least correlated with areas in which Trump received more votes.[5][6]


Once in office, Trump's administration has sought to build the wall (as an expansion of the existing barrier infrastructure) through Executive Order 13767 and the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act of 2018. Conflict over these actions prompted shutdowns of the federal government in January 2018 and December 2018. In the second case, the House of Representatives did not provide $5.6 billion in funds Trump requested for the wall, citing a number of concerns and pointing out that Trump had promised Mexico would pay.[7][8] In turn, Trump refused to sign an appropriations bill that he and the Republican-controlled Senate had previously supported, leading to the shutdown. Trump then blamed the Democrats for the shutdown despite saying earlier in a televised meeting with Democratic leaders that he would take responsibility in such.[9][10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Davis, Julie Hirschfeld; Baker, Peter (2019-01-05). "The Border Wall: How a Potent Symbol Is Now Boxing Trump In". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  2. ^ Anderson, Stuart. "Where The Idea For Donald Trump's Wall Came From". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  3. ^ Fitzgerald, Sandy (2015-01-26). "President Donald Trump Would Build a 'Real Wall' at Border". Newsmax. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  4. ^ Johnson, Jenna (2016-02-12). "'Build that wall' has taken on a life of its own at Donald Trump's rallies — but he's still serious". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ Larimer, Sarah (2016-11-10). "Middle schoolers chant 'build the wall' during lunch in aftermath of Trump win". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (2019-01-11). "Is the president making middle school worse?". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Julie Hirschfeld Davis & Michael Tackett (January 2, 2019). "Trump and Democrats Dig In After Talks to Reopen Government Go Nowhere". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Damian Paletta & Erica Werner (January 2, 2019). "Trump falsely claims Mexico is paying for wall, demands taxpayer money for wall in meeting with Democrats". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Erica Werner, Damian Paletta & Seung Min Kim, House Democrats vote to reopen government and deny Trump wall money, defying veto threat, Washington Post (January 3, 2019).
  10. ^ Clare Foran & Ted Barrett, Mitch McConnell blocks Senate Democrats' move to reopen government, CNN (January 10, 2019).