THE HILL — Donald Trump early Tuesday put a price tag on his long-proposed wall along America’s southern border, estimating it would cost Mexico $8 billion.
“The wall’s probably $8 billion, which is a tiny fraction of what we probably lose to Mexico,” he told host Tamron Hall on MSNBC’s “The Place for Politics 2016.”
Trump predicted the wall would cover approximately half of the land separating the U.S. and its neighbor.
“We have about 2,000 miles – it’s long, but it’s not like 13,000 they have in China,” he said, referencing China’s Great Wall. “Of the 2,000, we don’t need 2,000, we need 1,000, because we have natural barriers, etc. etc. It’s a very simple calculation.”
Trump argued that a physical barrier between Mexico and the U.S. is essential for halting illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking.
“If we don’t have a border, we don’t have a country,” the GOP presidential front-runner said. “Right now, people are walking in and out like it’s nothing.
“Heroin comes from the southern border,” Trump said as an example of the border’s impact on drug crime.
“People are walking across the border loaded up with drugs to places like New Hampshire,” he added the day of that state’s GOP presidential primary. “They’re coming over like mad.”
Trump also stressed that Mexico must cover the cost.
“We have an astronomical trade deficit with Mexico. We do so many things for Mexico [and] we lose a fortune dealing in trade with Mexico.”
Trump has repeatedly pledged that he would force Mexico into footing the bill for a wall.
Former Mexico President Felipe Calderon rejected the billionaire’s proposal last Saturday, arguing his country would not “pay any single cent.”