As all eyes have been focused on the Republican’s failing attempts to repeal Obamacare, despite promising their voters to do exactly that for years, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has begun initial preparations for the construction of portions of the southern border wall.
The Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that preparations for the construction of segments of a wall have begun in various places on the border with Mexico, including in California and Texas.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has begun preliminary preparations for the construction of segments of a wall in several places along the border with Mexico, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.
Engineers are drilling and taking soil samples to determine what type of barriers would be most effective in the different types of geography along the border, said David Lapan, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.
The drilling and soil testing are taking place in El Paso; Santa Teresa, N.M.; Calexico, Calif.; San Diego; and the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Mr. Lapan said the testing has been completed in El Paso and Calexico. The agency has identified the San Diego area and the Rio Grande Valley as priority regions for new border walls.
The drilling and testing come as Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol, continues to evaluate dozens of proposals that have been submitted by vendors for designs for a border wall.
Prototypes for the border wall are in progress and set to completed later this summer. However, the real battle to find out just how serious Republicans are about building the wall will occur in September, when it comes time to approve a new budget that includes funding for this project.
On Tuesday, though, the House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that included $1.6 billion for a wall. The bill would fund 74 miles of fencing along the southwest border.
The Department of Homeland Security has moved $20 million from other programs to pay for the construction of several border wall prototypes. Construction of the prototypes for a border wall is set to begin this summer in the San Diego area.
Homeland Security officials said the prototypes would be added to the existing border walls in San Diego and would allow the agency to evaluate which barriers are most effective in giving Border Patrol agents time to respond to illegal drugs and human smuggling. Officials said they planned to build four to eight prototypes.
The New York Times, true to their nature of skewing any reporting that involves President Trump, incorrectly stated that Trump promised to build a border wall along the entire 2,000 mile border with Mexico.
Mr. Trump initially spoke of building a “big, beautiful” wall along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. But last week, he scaled back that plan, saying the length of the wall could be as little as 700 miles.
“You don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Mr. Trump said in a conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One last week. “You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that. But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles.”
Mr. Trump also said the wall would be partially transparent and could have solar panels to help offset the cost. Mr. Trump has pledged that he would make Mexico pay for the wall, a notion flatly rejected by the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Anyone who has watched Trump speak in depth about the border wall would know that he consistently stated the wall would not need to stretch the entire length of the border, since natural barriers existed that already inhibited border crossings. Although you would think that Trump “flip-flopped” during his recent comments regarding the length of the border wall by reading the New York Time’s piece, this statements aligns with his campaign message.
In addition, Border Patrol officers have requested that some portions of the wall be see-through, as they would like to be able to observe any attempting crossing or illicit activities taking place during their patrols. Officers agreed that, “We need a physical barrier backed up by people like us — meaning CBP and local law enforcement — with technology where it’s appropriate.”
As construction begins, environmentalists are gearing up for a fight, claiming that the first stretch of border wall set to take place on the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Texas will block public access to the “crown jewel” of bird refuges. Expect to hear similar statements coming from the mainstream media regarding each plot of land the border wall is being built on.
Be prepared to hear non-stop coverage of endangered field mice, snails and newly discovered rare form of fungi that will happen to grow on the land where the wall will be build on. Media pundits will feature environmentalists and paid scientists from all over the world, each one saying that every mile of the wall will displace hundreds of endangered species, disrupting the ecosystem of the world possibly leading to the end of life as we know it.