WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s border wall might not be as long as some originally envisioned.
As talks on comprehensive immigration reform progress, so have the discussions on the logistics of a border wall. And the prospect of a wall spanning the entire border doesn’t seem to be part of the plan.
Trump met with several lawmakers for a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform on Tuesday, where he said natural barriers, like mountains, already on the border, could make a wall there unnecessary.
“We don’t need a wall where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting it,” the President said. “But we do need a wall for a fairly good portion.”
Following the meeting Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, reiterated Trump’s specifics about not needing a wall across the entirety of the US’ southern border.
“A lot of people have envisioned a 2,000-mile, you know, structure, and frankly a lot of what the President said during the campaign lent itself to that kind of vision,” Flake told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”
“The President noted that there are rivers, there are mountains that prohibit any kind of wall, the need for any kind of wall. There won’t be a 2,000-mile wall,” Flake added.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, also said Trump “backed off any kind of description that he’s looking for any sea to shining sea fence or wall.”
“What he agreed to is, it’s not a 2,000-mile wall itself, but he very certainly said there has to be a wall as a part of it,” Lankford said.
Trump has mentioned the natural barriers in the past. In September, at a rally in Alabama, the President said, “We are going to have as much wall as we need.”
“You have a lot of natural barriers, et cetera. Somebody said, ‘Well, what are you going to do? You going to build that wall in the middle of the river? … That nobody can go in? Are you going to build that wall on the mountain?’ I said, ‘You don’t need the wall on the mountain. You have a mountain which is a wall,’ ” Trump said in September.
The President reiterated Tuesday night that a wall must be part of any DACA deal.
He tweeted, “As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.”