Words by Corey Copeland
Long before Donald Trump took office, he vowed to “make America great again.” His campaign was spearheaded by a promise to take control of America’s immigration problem. “Build a wall,” he proposed. Now nine months into his presidency the wall(s) have begun to take shape. The walls were constructed and displayed a few miles east of San Diego.
Workers have completed construction on eight prototype border walls. Next week, on October 26, the Department of Homeland Security will begin testing which designs will best serve the desired purpose of deterring illegal immigrants from entering the U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have granted six contracts to eight companies to design and construct the wall. Four of the walls are made from reinforced concrete. The other walls are made of concrete and stronger materials such as steel. Some walls are equipped with sharp materials to discourage illegal crossing. Each model is 18 to 30 feet high and 30 feet long
Despite this major step in what appeared to be a fluff-filled statement, Americans should understand that any wall can be breeched. It will take more than a wall to discourage crossing.
The U.S.-Mexico border is approximately 1,933 miles long. 700 miles of which is already covered with a fence. However Border Patrol is significantly understaffed. One month after President Trump took office, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly made his objectives very clear as he addressed Congress. “We’re going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of years.” The figures refer to the goal to add 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 5000 Border Patrol Agents.
As the prototypes face evaluation, it’s important to note the complex geographic features of the border such as, long desert stretches and canyons prone to flooding. The wall needs to fulfill its purpose and remain cost efficient.
Former President George W. Bush has recently voiced his displeasure with the state of our nation. “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories,” he said. “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism,” he said.
The wall continues to be to topic of fierce debate