“We’ve been talking about this right from the beginning,” Trump said during a brief signing ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the White House had not circulated copies of the documents or briefed reporters on the details, as has been typical practice in past administrations. But Trump cast his actions as fulfillment of his campaign pledge to enact hard-line immigration measures, including construction of a wall paid for by Mexico. U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for the upfront costs, though Trump continues to assert that Mexico will reimburse the money through unspecified means.
In an interview with ABC News earlier Wednesday, Trump said, “There will be a payment; it will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form.”
While Trump has repeatedly said the border structure will be a wall, his spokesman Sean Spicer said more generally Wednesday the president was ordering construction of a “large physical barrier.”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted his country will not pay for a wall, is to meet with Trump at the White House next week.