The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced late on Thursday that construction of eight borderwall prototypes for the U.S.–Mexico boundary is complete. Located in the San Diego area, these barriers will now undergo a 30- to 60-day testing and evaluation period to “determine which wall design elements meets our needs,” CBP writes in a press release.
“Border security contributes to our overall national security and relies on a combination of border infrastructure, technology, personnel, and partnerships,” said acting deputy commissioner Ron Vitiello in the release. “Border walls have proven to be an extremely effective part of our multi-pronged security strategy to prevent the illegal migration of people and drugs over the years. Specifically, walls are part of a border enforcement zone, which includes patrol roads, lights and surveillance technology. These border enforcement zones give our men and women of CBP the best possible conditions to maintain a safe and secure border.”
The borderwalls must have anti-breaching, anti-climbing, and anti-digging capabilities, deny traffic, and be safe for CBP agents. These prototypes are intended to guide future borderwall design standards, and if deemed successful, CBP will expand the current borderwall toolkit.
As previously reported, the prototypes were each expected to reach 18 to 30 feet in height and cost between $400,000 and $500,000. Of the 1,900-mile continental divide, approximately 1,200 miles of the border is adjacent to Texas. As such, “the government would also have to seize land from private landowners, ” the New York Timesreports. “About 95 percent of the land in Texas is privately owned, and by some estimates, hundreds of parcels would need to be taken to construct a wall.”