U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday that the planned border wall wouldn't go on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande River, according to E&E news.
In remarks given to members of the Public Lands Council, Zinke also said the wall wouldn't be built in the middle of the river.
That would mean just one place for it. Though Zinke didn't say it directly, his remarks implied that the border wall would have to go on the southern side of the Rio Grande River — in Mexico.
"The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall," Zinke said Tuesday. "The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We're not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we're probably not going to put it in the middle of the river."
The wall is one of President Donald Trump's more contentious proposals. He campaigned heavily on it, promising he would make Mexico pay for the construction. But while his rallies frequently featured crowds chanting "Build the Wall," support for a complete border wall is scant in Congress.
Support is even harder to find across the border, where Mexican officials have repeatedly said they won't be paying for the wall. Mexican officials, including former President Vicente Fox, have declared emphatically that Mexico won't be spending a dime on it.
Read more about the border wall here:
- None of the 38 Texans in Congress offered a full-throated endorsement of a complete border wall, a position popular with President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters, a Texas Tribune delegation-wide survey found in December.
- At the U.S.-Mexico border, scientists say existing fencing is hurting endangered wildlife and warn that a continuous wall could devastate many species.