(National Sentinel) Campaign Promises: One of the cornerstones of President Donald J. Trump’s successful campaign — building a wall along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border — is a step closer to reality.
Over the past month, crews have been building eight prototype border wall designs — in blue, white and beige — one of which the president will eventually choose. So far, however, Republicans who control Congress, many of whom used to believe in lock-tight border security, have yet to appropriate the estimated $22 billion needed to build the barrier.
Still, Border Patrol officials are happy to see the wall progress in any phase, citing the need for the federal government to shore up physical border security.
“Our current infrastructure is well over two decades old,” Roy Villareal, deputy chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, said during a tour with media organizations on Monday morning, Reuters reported. “Is there need for improvement? Absolutely.”
At present, about 654 miles of the roughly 1,900-mile border with Mexico is lined with single, double, or triple fencing. Villareal said a second line of fencing in the San Diego corridor has double fencing that is about 18 feet high and has been breached some 2,000 times in the last three years.
And even if the wall Trump seeks never gets built, Villareal said the Border Patrol may nevertheless incorporate one of the new designs to replace fencing in some areas.
Six contractors were selected to pitch designs to the Trump administration, each paying attention to asthetics. One section features deep-blue steel, while another features a brick fascade.
Much of the current wall consists of delapidated corrogated steel left over from the Vietnam War.
Beginning next month, the Border Patrol said a private company, which officials did not identify, will begin a 30-60 testing process to see how easy it is to climb over or dig under each design.
During the campaign, Trump said he would ensure that the wall got built and that Mexico would pay for it. And while it’s still not clear whether the wall will get built and if our southern neighbor will indeed pick up the tab, getting the right design was always going to be the first step.
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