Can Border Wall Prototypes Actually Keep Immigrants Out?

According to various members of the U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, Trump’s border wall won’t work. Recently, testing was completed on one of the eight border wall prototypes. The results? Military personnel were able to cut through the slats using a common saw.

According to NBC News, the construction that combines steel slats and reinforced concrete, was no match for a range of tools that are readily available.

The testing was done in San Diego where eight different border wall prototypes have been constructed for the purpose of testing to see if they would be impenetrable. Many have suggested that if a person wanted to breach any type of wall, they would find a way to do so.

Human Ingenuity

The human ingenuity factor here is an important consideration. History has shown us that when humans want to do something—no matter how hard or outrageous it might seem, they’ll find a way to do it.


It was NBC that first made the discovery about how easily the wall prototypes could be breached. Testing was done by U.S Customs & Border Protection (CBP) on all eight and a report along with photos was released in February 2018.

In response to the report, CBP officials said that the wall was not meant to be indestructible. It was only being built to slow down those trying to get through it, long enough for the border patrol to get there and make arrests.

Donald’s Trump’s response was that the prototype designs were not his idea; they were those of the previous administration. When asked about whether the border wall would work, Trump claimed that the barrier he would select would be “very, very hard to penetrate.”

Breaking Down the Border Wall

A spokeswoman from DHS, Katie Waldman, commented that, “In the event that one of the steel bollards becomes damaged, it is quick and cost-effective to repair.”

Another report done in July 2018 report for the Government Accountability Office clearly demonstrates the deficiencies of all eight wall prototypes. They include weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the design and construction. Testing was completed to measure the difficulty of getting over, under or through each wall prototype. The details of how each wall was breached were not released due to security concerns.


As details have unfolded regarding the testing, the agency determined that many factors were not considered by the CBP. These include the various topographies, the cost of construction, the types of materials used, the ability to secure land from private owners, and others.

Is It An Expensive Mistake?

Though millions of Americans believe building a $6billion border wall would be an expensive mistake, others say that it’s time for America to sit down and talk about its serious immigration issues. Immigration reform has been a constant topic of conversation since the mid-1980’s.

Though the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made it illegal to hire illegal immigrants, there was no provision made for the huge number of low-skilled workers who want to enter the United States each year. It is estimated that illegal aliens make up about five percent of the workforce in the United States. They most often do dirty, labor-intensive jobs that Americans are not interested in doing.

Economists believe that if America were to stop all illegal aliens from entering the U.S. the economy would suffer tremendously. There would simply not be American workers willing to do highway construction, landscaping, and such labor-intensive jobs.

The GAO report also points out that most border wall prototypes would present difficult challenges for builders that could increase the price to $10billion or more.

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