The border wall between Mexico and America was one of Donald Trump’s most talked about and controversial policies during the election campaign. But since taking office in January, Republicans have been hit with several roadblocks in their quest to get the massive project underway.
While Congress hasn’t agreed to the policy, companies have started to develop prototypes of the wall if and when the government gets the green light. According to the Associated Press, about 200 organisations have shown an interest in designing or building the wall.
Pictures posted on Twitter by the US Customs and Border Protection show huge slabs of grey, high, concrete walls. The government has also uploaded a video of teams in San Diego drilling holes for concrete footings, illustrating how work is well and truly underway.
— CBP (@CustomsBorder) September 28, 2017
Eight prototypes have been developed, half are made of concrete and the other half will be constructed with ‘other materials’, according to a government statement. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello says: “We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls. Our multi-pronged strategy to ensure the safety and security of the American people includes barriers, infrastructure, technology and people.
“Moving forward with the prototypes enables us to continue to incorporate all the tools necessary to secure our border.”
The new border aims to have walls between 18-30 feet high and a 150 feet (45m) electronicallymonitored no-man’s land between America and Mexico.
President Trump initially stated that he wanted parts of the wall to be see through so that authorities would be able to easily spot drug smugglers. He said on Air Force One: “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them-they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of the stuff? It’s over.”
“As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”
It’s no surprise that the wall, also known as Executive Order 13767, still has questions about how it will be funded and by whom. From the outset, Trump insisted that Mexico would pay for it, which was stringently denied by his neighbouring country. The President said he was considering slapping a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports, however that idea was heavily criticised by Republicans and Democrats.
In August, Trump even threatened to shut down the government to get the project started, telling a rally: “The obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
Featured Image Credit: US Customs and Border Protection