Eight different models for a proposed border wall have been tested and the results should spell good news for President Donald Trump and immigration hardliners in Congress.
Constructed outside the city of San Diego, the prototypes were recently subjected to rigorous tests and trials by special operation teams.
If the test results are any indication, whichever model is ultimately chosen will make illegal passage through the U.S. southern border nearly impossible, according to Fox News.
The prototypes proved better at enduring jackhammers, concrete saws and cutting torches than anything currently in use on the U.S. border.
Additionally, all eight models were nearly impossible to climb due to anti-perching and anti-climbing features.
“I can’t talk about it,” a Department of Homeland Security official said. “But the walls were so high we had to suspend testing. It was unsafe. Out of dozens and attempts, one guy made it to the top but he couldn’t get down.
“We had to bring him down with (the) cherry picker.”
The official results of the prototype tests won’t be revealed for at least another couple months, but multiple Border Patrol sources revealed many of the takeaways.
Border agents appear to remain in favor of the see-through bollard style fence, which is topped with a flat steel or concrete mat that deters scaling. Agents indicated that a 30-foot-high wall may not even be necessary, suggesting that a 24-foot fence would do the trick and save the government a few dollars.
A finalized wall will not be uniform throughout the entire southern border, but instead, be constructed based on the needs of the local terrain. Each section will be afforded the ability to modify the wall design based on need and topography of the local area.
For example, a fence built in the Yuma desert will differ than one built in San Diego, the Rio Grande Valley or the Tucson Mountains.
Border officials have mostly lauded the measure, adding that no matter the terrain, some form of border security works.
“The evidence shows that barriers work,” Pete Hermansen, a veteran of more than two decades in the Border Patrol. “In urban areas, a wall makes sense. In more remote areas, sensors and mobile cameras may be the right choice. But you can’t say fences don’t work.”
Test results of the prototypes come after the Trump administration released its proposal for immigration reform earlier this month.
A comprehensive measure, White House plans plan would provide a pathway to citizenship for around 1.8 million “Dreamers” and also calls for a $25 billion added investment in border security — including the construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border.
Congress will soon release and debate their own version of immigration reform in the coming days.
The preservation of DACA, a program that shields many young illegal immigrants from deportation, and construction of a massive border are at the center of the immigration debate on Capitol Hill. Republican lawmakers have expressed interest in preserving the DACA program, but want to see funding toward a wall on the U.S. southern border, something many Democrats oppose.
Trump used his first State of the Union speech to highlight the perils of unchecked illegal immigration, inviting a New York family whose daughter was brutally murdered by MS-13 gang members. Several of the gang members arrested in the murder of the teenage girl and her friend were living in the country illegally.
“Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you,” Trump said, speaking directly to the family members of the slain girls.
“We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.”
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