New prototypes for the wall Trump means to build on the southern border of the United States are proving to be far more repellent to illegal entry by immigrants than anything tried before, according to Fox News.
Eight prototypes tested by United States special operation teams from El Paso, Texas, and Florida showed that typical ways of illegal entry such as cutting torches, jackhammers and concrete saws were less successful than attempts at previous walls, and the new walls were virtually impossible to climb.
One Department of Homeland Security official said, “I can’t talk about it. But the walls were so high we had to suspend testing. It was unsafe. Out of dozens of attempts, one guy made it to the top but he couldn’t get down. We had to bring him down with a cherry picker.”
President Donald Trump has spoken of a “wall system,” which would be comprised of a barrier, more sophisticated cameras, sensors, roads and lighting. Pete Hermansen, the former director of the Border Patrol’s tactical and rescue teams, explained, “A wall system gives us situational awareness throughout the border and certainty of apprehension of individuals who are crossing the border.” He added, “The evidence shows that barriers work. 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.”
Fox News points out that in 1986, before the 46-mile fence was built along the southern border, 629,656 illegal immigrants were arrested after crossing the border illegally.
But in 2017, 26,086 illegal immigrants were arrested, a 95% plunge, likely inspired by the existence of double fencing rather than the previous barbed wire and 6-foot-high steel mats. In Yuma Arizona, the number of arrests of illegal immigrants fell from 138,438 arrests in 2006 to 12,847 in 2017 after 126 miles of fence was built.
Of the eight prototypes that were tested, agents liked the see-through bollard-style fence the best, but each sector of the border is likely to use what works best for itself.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection have estimated a 2,026-mile border wall system would need approximately 864 miles of new wall and about 1,163 miles of replacement or secondary wall; it would reportedly cost $18 billion.
Hermansen ended with, “Will they scale over it and tunnel under it? Yes. But if you discourage people as much as you can at the outset, you are dealing with a much smaller population that you have to push with technology, manpower and other assets.”
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