President Donald Trump’s proposal for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is receiving support from people who have experience with working in the region. And recent testing of border wall prototypes has proven them to be nearly impossible to breach.
Recently, eight border wall prototypes were built near San Diego, with all of them featuring unique designs. These prototypes are all stronger and more difficult to get past than anything that has ever been constructed on the border.
Special operation teams from El Paso and Florida tested the effectiveness of the prototypes for both their durability and difficulty to scale.
After several weeks of testing, the teams concluded that the walls were nearly impossible to climb. One of the special operations members was able to make it to the top of one of the prototype walls but was unable to get down. He was eventually rescued by a cherry picker when officials felt that his safety was at risk.
The teams also attempted to breach the walls from the ground by using concrete saws, cutting torches, and jackhammers. Despite their efforts, they were unsuccessful at causing any significant damage.
“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 cherry picker,” a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said.
“The evidence shows that barriers work,” Pete Hermansen, who is a Border Patrol agent, recently said to Fox News. “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.”
In the late 1980s, 46 miles of fence was constructed along the San Diego area of the border, which helped lessen illegal crossings. There is now a total of 60 miles of fencing in the area, which has resulted in a decrease of illegal immigrant arrests from 629,656 in 1986 to 26,086 in 2017.
“Fences have made a big difference,” Tucson Sector Chief Rudy Kirsch said. “It reduced the traffic flow of immigrants and drugs across the border.”
As San Diego fortified its border fences, illegal immigrants were diverted eastward to Yuma, Arizona. More than 130,000 illegal migrants were arrested in the Yuma area in 2006, but after a fence was built, the number of arrests decreased to just over 12,800 in 2017.
“But that doesn’t mean we need a 30-foot wall from sea to shining sea. The wall system the President is talking about includes a physical wall, but also a fiber optic sensor cable, radars, roads, lights,” Kirsch continued.