- One of the steel prototypes for President Donald Trump’s border wall was sawed through by Border Patrol and military personnel assigned to test it, according to a Department of Homeland Security report NBC Newsobtained.
- The prototype designs aren’t being used for any of the steel fencing the Trump administration is currently building, but a Homeland Security spokeswoman told NBC the design is similar to those used for years at the border.
- She said the prototype design was meant to take “time and multiple industrial tools to breach,” giving Border Patrol agents extra time to respond to any breaching attempts.
- Trump also addressed the prototype on Thursday, noting that “there’s nothing that can’t be penetrated … but what you do is you fix it.”
Despite President Donald Trump’s growing fondness for “steel slats” along the US-Mexico border, one of the steel border-wall prototypes his administration built in 2017 was cut through with a saw, according to a Department of Homeland Security report NBC Newsobtained.
The network published a photo showing the steel slats after testers from Border Patrol and the US military took saws to the prototype to see if it could withstand cutting.
The prototype was one of eight erected outside San Diego, California, which Trump visited last spring. The prototypes included a mix of steel and concrete designs, and Trump said he favoured the ones with “see-through” steel components, so Border Patrol agents would be able to see the other side.
But a Homeland Security spokeswoman told NBC that none of the prototype designs are currently being used in the fencing projects currently under construction, and that the steel bollard-style design of that particular prototype has long been used on US border barriers.
“While the design currently being constructed was informed by what we learned in the prototypes, it does not replicate those designs,” Katie Waldman said in a statement to NBC. “The steel bollard design is internally reinforced with materials that require time and multiple industrial tools to breach, thereby providing US Border Patrol agents additional response time to affect a successful law enforcement resolution.”
She continued: “In the event that one of the steel bollards becomes damaged, it is quick and cost-effective to repair.”
Reporters asked Trump about the sawed-through steel on Thursday morning before he departed the White House for a trip to the border in McAllen, Texas.
“That’s a wall that was designed by previous administrations,” Trump said. “There’s nothing that can’t be penetrated … Even concrete – there’s acid that can go through concrete. But what you do is you fix it. And it very much limits; it’s very, very hard. The wall that we’re doing is very hard to penetrate.”
The news comes amid a nearly three-week-long government shutdown over Trump’s demands for $US5.7 billion to construct the border wall. Congressional Democrats have refused to grant the funds, calling the concept of a wall “immoral.”
But Trump has continued to insist that the border is in a state of “crisis,” arguing that a border wall is the most effective solution.
“This barrier is absolutely critical to border security,” he said in his televised address to the nation Tuesday evening. “This is just common sense.”
- Read more of INSIDER’s immigration coverage:
- ‘The Daily Show’ trolled Trump with an old video of him saying ‘If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it’
- THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BORDER CRISIS: Experts say there is no security crisis, but there is a simple way to fix immigration – and it’s not a wall
- As the government shutdown over Trump’s border wall rages, a journey along the entire 1,933-mile US-Mexico border shows the monumental task of securing it
- The Trump administration keeps getting called out for misleadingly linking migrants at the US-Mexico border with terrorism
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