In this Jan. 4, 2016 photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent drives near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Santa Teresa, N.M. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
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Can Donald Trump really make good on his promise to build a wall along the 3200-kilometer U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal migration?A physical barrier between Mexico and the U.S. has been tried before.Some 1,050 kilometers of border fencing now sits on the border, including roughly 5-meter-tall steel fencing in many urban areas that is designed to stop or slow border crossers on foot and vehicle barriers, which are shorter steel posts filled with cement and planted in the ground.First, a 1970 boundary treaty governs structures along the Rio Grande and Colorado River at the Mexican border. Trump has said his wall will not need to run the full 3,400-kilometer length of the border, but even excluding those portions blocked by geographic features, there are serious issues.In addition to creating a sort of no-man's land between the wall and the actual border, one government or the other would have to buy large amounts of private property as well as land owned by at least one Indian tribe whose territory straddles the border in southern Arizona.Numerous fact-checking organizations have taken issue with Trump's estimate that the wall would be built for $10 billion to $12 billion.
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