Donald Trump‘s obsession with a wall between the United States and Mexico is strong as ever as the President attempts to build the wall according to his own design, often disregarding the opinions of his secretaries in the process.

After fighting with his opponents for years over this project, Trump finally managed to make his campaign promise to build a wall a reality when Democrats compromised and allocated $1.4 billion to wall construction in order to lift the government shutdown in February 2019. While this money came with the restrictions that it be used only for “operationally effective designs,” such as those already in use by Customs and Border Protection, the $2.5 billion that Trump rerouted from the military defense budget came with no such restrictions. With the combined money and political currency gained from the military budget and the Democrats’ concessions, the president has been able to move forward with parts of the wall’s construction.


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Trump has become obsessed with ensuring that the wall is built precisely according to his specifications. Aides to the President have reported that he often interrupts unrelated meetings to talk about the wall, frequently becoming disgruntled when told that the pace of construction is not up to his standards. Due to his previous, questionably successful, experience as a real estate tycoon in New York City, Trump believes that he is an expert in the area of construction. With the confidence that only someone who has been previously described as a “tycoon” can have, the President has repeatedly disregarded the suggestions of his advisors and ordered the wall to be designed according to what he thinks is best, ignoring the added complications created by the length and harsh geography of the United States-Mexico border.

Trump’s suggestion range from fiscally irresponsible (doubling the wall size deemed optimal by Customs and Border Protection) to outright cartoonish (putting spikes on top of the wall to make it scarier). While some of his ideas make sense in theory, such as painting the wall black so that it absorbs heat and becomes harder to touch and climb, the president often disregards the reality behind such suggestions, like the fact that such a wall would have to be expensively repainted frequently.

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