House Republicans have new plan for Trump's US-Mexico wall

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WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives hope to offer President-elect Donald Trump an alternate plan to his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, a first test by lawmakers from his own party of one of his key campaign promises.

Just a day after Trump's stunning election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, congressional aides told Reuters the lawmakers wanted to meet with Trump's advisers to discuss a less costly option to his "big, beautiful, powerful wall."

RELATED: See where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border

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Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
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Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
A gap in the U.S.-Mexico border fence is seen outside Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Men talk on a street in the town of Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol officer stands at a border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Recent arrivals from Mexico wait to board a greyhound bus in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Highway 82 towards Douglas, Arizona is seen near Sonoita, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Clouds float above the border towns of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A sign warning drivers that firearms and ammunition are prohibited in Mexico is seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Buildings in Nogales, Mexico (R) are separated by a border fence from Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A worker makes his way through the water after setting up an irrigation system on an agricultural field, near Calexico, California, U.S. October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A church at the Museum of History in Granite is seen in Felicity, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man drives a tractor plowing a field at sunrise near Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Residential homes are seen next to the fence that borders Mexico, in Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians wait to cross the street in Calexico, California, Unites States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The town of Bisbee is seen in Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians make their way into the the United States from Mexico at the pedestrian border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A roadside collection of alien dolls and toy UFO saucers is seen next to a roadside residence neat Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A road abruptly ends next to a sign for a cattle ranch near Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A boy rides an all-terrain vehicle next Mexican border along the Buttercup San Dunes in California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An old refurbished gas station is seen in Lowell, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A man rides a tricycle past a grocery store in a town that borders Mexico, in San Luis Butter, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol truck drives past the fence that marks the border between U.S. and Mexico, in Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A truck drives west towards California along highway 8 near Gila Bend, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Electronic items are displayed in a shop window in Calexico, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A residential home is seen in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A fence separates the border towns of Nogales, Mexico (R) and Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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The plan would involve more border fencing and additional border staffing with federal agents, many of whom belong to labor unions that supported Trump's candidacy, the aides said.

Double layers of fencing would be extended along parts of the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border, rather than constructing a brick-and-mortar wall, according to the proposal.

A House Republican aide and a Department of Homeland Security official said a wall was not realistic because it would block visibility for border agents and cut through rugged terrain, as well as bodies of water and private land.

The House aide said House Republicans working on the alternative plan were waiting for Trump's transition team to be put in place before setting a date for the meeting.

A spokesman for Trump did not respond to a request for comment on the lawmakers' proposal or their desired meeting.

Mexico said on Wednesday that it would not pay for a border wall, as Trump has pledged.

Immigration was a central feature of the Trump campaign, focusing on concerns among some voters about illegal immigrants and perceptions they take jobs and pose security risks.

Before the Republican convention in July, party platform committee members successfully petitioned delegates to add language about the proposed wall to the platform statement.

But U.S. Republican Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has called a wall along the entire border a "knee-jerk" reaction and has not mentioned the idea in legislation on Capitol Hill.

​​​​RELATED: Thousands protest Donald Trump across the nation

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Thousands protest Donald Trump across the nation
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Thousands protest Donald Trump across the nation
Demonstrators protest outside of City Hall following the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in downtown Los Angeles, California November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
SOUTH GATE, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Students in South Gate protest the election Donald Trump as president in front of City Hall. (Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 10: Protesters of President-elect Donald Trump march down the I-94 on November 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets in protest in the days following the election of Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gesture toward an approaching line of police officers as they stopped traffic on Interstate 580 during a demonstration following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, in Oakland, California, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Thousands of anti-Trump protesters shut down 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower as New Yorkers react to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in an upset to become the 45th president.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Protesters reach Trump Tower as they march against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Protestors hanging onto a signpost shout slogans on 5th Avenue across from Trump Tower on November 9, 2016 in New York, after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the US.

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People march in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in Seattle, Washington, U.S. November 9, 2016.

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Office workers show their support for protesters marching along Sixth Avenue, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York, in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory.

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The Empire State Building is seen in the background as demonstrators hold a sign during a march against President-elect Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York, U.S. November 9, 2016.

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Demonstrators protest on top of a bus outside of the Trump Tower November 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Thousands of people across the United States took to the streets in protest a day after Republican Donald Trump was elected president, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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Remy joins protestors marching against Republican Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's U.S. presidential election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 9, 2016.

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People try to reach Trump Tower as they protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

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A demonstrator wears a headpiece depicting the crown of the Statue of Liberty during a protest in San Francisco, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States November 9, 2016.

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Protesters burn an effigy of Donald Trump in Lee Circle before a march through New Orleans, La., November 9, 2016.

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Protestors rally against Donald Trump outside of Trump Tower, November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset.

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People protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

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Demonstrators walk through Downtown San Diego in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in San Diego, California, U.S. November 9, 2016.

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A woman chants from a window as demonstrators march on Market Street in San Francisco, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States November 9, 2016.

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People climb a pole on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower during protests following President-elect Donald Trump's election victory in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

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Security forces stand guard in front of the Trump Tower during a protest against President-elect Donald Trump of Republican Party in Chicago, United States on November 9, 2016.

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Protestors brandish a tattered US national flag during a demonstration on 5th Avenue across from Trump Tower on November 9, 2016 in New York, after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the US.

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People take part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump in New York City on November 9, 2016.

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A protester carries an upside down American flag as she walks along Sixth Avenue while demonstrating against President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. Thousands of protesters around the country took to the streets Wednesday to condemn the election of Trump as president.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Protesters burn a U.S. flag while they reach Trump Tower as they march against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

People take part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump in New York City on November 9, 2016.

(KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

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If Congress stands up to Trump, his wall may end up being a fence extension, said Steve Legomsky, professor emeritus and immigration law expert at Washington University School of Law.

"Congress won't fund the kind of wall Trump promised, and Mexico won't pay for it. But to save face, President Trump and congressional leaders will likely agree to a modest extension of the existing border fence," Legomsky predicted.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Wednesday that border security was an important agenda item that he wanted to achieve "in whatever way is the most effective."

The National Border Patrol Council, a union representing border agents, said the agency had already had a difficult time meeting hiring goals mandated by Congress.

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