Initial tests of President Donald Trump’s border wall prototypes show the structures fail to meet the “non-penetrable” criteria, according to a government report.
Study crews were able to breach a wall and in at least one case, make a prototype unstable. A recently released report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed the proposed border barriers could fail based on current prototypes.
The government report addressed testing of the $20 million Otay Mesa barrier prototype project. While the report contained heavy redactions to protect testing methodologies, it revealed that in at least one case, the testing resulted in making one of the mock-ups unstable to the point that officials feared a collapse.
“The (redacted) breaching technique was rescheduled to be last breaching technique on each mockup, since the technique had the potential to impact the structural integrity of the entire mock-up,” the report stated.
Testers utilized mock-ups of the actual prototype barriers. After the failure of the first mock-up, the undisclosed technique used in the test was delayed on the other mock-ups until the final step of the testing process.
Testing of the prototypes and mock-ups were carried out beyond the view of outsiders to prevent human smugglers from obtaining intelligence information about how to best counter the barriers. CBP reports indicate the older fencing technology is, the more likely breaches are to occur.
During the past five years, existing fencing was breached by smugglers more than 9,000 times. The cost of repairs to existing barriers exceeded $1 billion over the past two decades — at least some of that cost derived from breaches.
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