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DHS estimates border wall may take $21 billion, over 3 years to build

020917 Giaritelli border cost
President Trump had predicted it would cost $12 billion to finish the 1,250 miles of fencing. (AP Photo/Christian Torres)

President Trump's executive order to complete the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border will cost $21.6 billion and take approximately three and a half years to build, according to a Homeland Security Department report that surfaced Thursday evening.

During his campaign, Trump predicted it would cost $12 billion to finish the 1,250 miles of fencing that is still missing following the 2006 Fence Act. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had estimated $15 billion for the project.

DHS Secretary John Kelly is expected to formally announce the price tag of the operation in the coming days.

The internal estimate, reported by Reuters, states the project would be divided into three phases of construction.

Currently, 654 miles of the border has an efficient barrier. The first phase of the project — estimated to cost $360 million — would focus on 26 miles of the border where illegal immigration levels are among the highest: San Diego, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

The second phase would cover 151 miles of land near the Rio Grande Valley; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; El Paso, Texas; and Big Bend, Texas. The final leg would cover an estimated 1,080 remaining miles of land.

Congress is expected to allocate funding for the project in April or May, with construction starting in September. Trump has promised to reimburse taxpayers by billing Mexico though the administration has not nailed down a specific method for getting compensated.