A prototype for President Trump's proposed steel-slat border wall could be cut through with a saw.
According to NBC News, the Department of Homeland Security built eight steel and concrete wall prototypes in California, near the border with Tijuana, Mexico. Trump inspected them last March and has settled on a "steel bollard" option. But during a test in which Border Patrol officials were instructed to breach the walls using common tools, the steel slats were able to be cut through with a saw. Ultimately, all eight prototypes proved vulnerable to breaching.
Shown a picture of the cut steel wall on Thursday, Trump said, "that’s a wall designed by previous administrations."
In a statement, DHS spokesperson Katie Waldman said, "While the design currently being constructed was informed by what we learned in the prototypes, it does not replicate those designs. The steel bollard design is internally reinforced with materials that require time and multiple industrial tools to breach, thereby providing U.S. Border Patrol agents additional response time to affect a successful law enforcement resolution. In the event that one of the steel bollards becomes damaged, it is quick and cost-effective to repair."
She added: "The professionals on the border know that a wall system is intended not only to prevent entry, it is intended to defer and to increase the amount of time and effort it takes for one to enter so that we can respond with limited border patrol agents. Even a wall that is being breached is a valuable tool in that it allows us to respond to the attempted illegal entry."
The federal government is the 20th day of a partial shutdown over Trump's border wall. He has requested $5.7 billion to fund more than 234 miles of barrier at the Mexican border. For the first two years of Trump's term, the Republican-led House and Senate declined to grant the funds; after the Democrats took control of the House in November and indicated that their decision was the same, Trump refused to sign funding bills to keep the government open.
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