- The eight prototypes of President Donald Trump’s border wall were torn down on Wednesday.
- They were built in the fall of 2017, and have stood just outside San Diego, California, ever since.
- The designs won’t be used anytime soon – the new barriers Congress funded have to use “existing” designs only, and Congress or the courts could overturn Trump’s national-emergency declaration to fund the wall.
Eight prototypes that have served for more than a year as the embodiment of President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall were demolished on Wednesday to make room for a segment of new fencing.
“Since the test and evaluation of these prototype models is complete, they have served their purpose and are now being removed,” US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Ralph DeSio told Reuters.
The agency told NBC News on Friday that money has already been allocated for the prototypes to be taken down from their spots just outside San Diego, California, and that another border barrier will be constructed in that area instead.
“There is money already allocated to either take them down or build infrastructure around them. But the decision has been made at the national level to take them down, and the secondary replacement project will take their place,” Border Patrol Agent Theron Francisco told NBC.
In October 2017, the agency unveiled eight different versions of a wall that could ostensibly serve as the wall Trump has promised since the early days of his presidential campaign.
Using jackhammers, ladders, and blow torches, military special forces and CBP special units spent weeks trying to go under, over and through the walls to test their strengths and weaknesses.
Now, a new 30-foot-high bollard fence is being built as a secondary barrier along a 14-mile section, behind an existing, 18-feet-high bollard fence, supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael Scappechio told Reuters.
Four of the prototypes were made of concrete, and four were made of other materials, such as steel. Each 30-foot-high prototype cost between $US300,000 and $US500,000 to construct, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
In a spending bill that Trump signed earlier this month, Congress authorised $US1.375 billion for 55 miles of steel border barriers. But it stipulated that only “existing technologies” could be used for the barriers, so none of the prototypes would qualify.
In response to the paltry funding, which fell far short of the $US5.7 billion Trump had demanded, Trump declared a national emergency in an effort to bypass Congress to secure enough funding.
That effort is being challenged in both Congress and the courts, with a growing number of Republicans vocally opposing the move, and a slew of lawsuits challenging Trump’s authority to declare an emergency over the issue.
- Read more:
- 16 states are suing Trump for declaring a national emergency over his border wall: ‘A constitutional crisis of his own making’
- Trump’s national emergency for border wall will ‘quickly’ face legal challenges and sets a dangerous precedent, experts say
- Trump’s 2014 comments criticising Obama for taking executive action ‘because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress’ are coming back to haunt him
- Trump says he ‘didn’t need to’ declare national emergency but wants to get the border wall ‘done faster’
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