President Donald J. Trump visited Otay Mesa Wednesday, a neighborhood in the southern part of San Diego that borders Mexico, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) thanked him for building portions of the border wall to help keep illegal aliens from entering the United States.
“So you know, sir, this is the border wall that the agents asked for, and they wanted me to tell you personally that they appreciate this, and not only this, but the extension…” a CBP employee identified as Agent Harrison said.
Some portions of the border wall and/or fencing have been replaced, while others have been newly built. Despite the fact that construction has been slow due to a largely uncooperative Congress on both the GOP and Democrat side, Trump is still working to make good on his promise of securing the border with Mexico.
“It makes [the agents] safer, it makes the community safer, and it allows us to make that apprehension here in the border zone as opposed to getting in vehicles and getting in pursuits on the highway. We want to make that apprehension here,” Harrison said.
Trump then explained the process of building the barriers, which has been tricky.
“Well, you know, just in terms of the quality I came with the Border Patrol, we worked with them very closely, and I said ‘fellas, how about doing a less expensive version,’” Trump said. “They said, ‘well this is the version that works, including the poured concrete in the steel with the rebar, and everything else. It’s the Rolls Royce version.”
Trump continued, describing the process of building two sections of wall in key areas where illegal aliens are most likely to cross. He also said that the walls are “anti-climb,” and asked Harrison to elaborate.
“So, it’s one thing to figure out how to navigate the vertical post, but the transition at the top makes the climb orders of magnitude more difficult, Harrison said. “It requires different equipment, different tools, different skills, and so it’s the change as we get to the top that adds to the protection of that fence.”
In other words, there won’t be many illegals simply climbing over the wall anymore, due to its new design.
Trump also toured more sections of wall, and promised that 500 more miles will be built.
He thanked the Army Corps of Engineers, with whom he said he is also working very closely.
“This is going to be close to 500 miles by the time we finish, those are the areas that are the most important,” he said. “That should be done pretty close to next year. But we’re doing all of the most important areas. We’ve got a lot of natural barriers, mountains, and streams, and rivers, and some pretty vicious and violent rivers, actually, but it’s an amazing project.”
He added that by the time the border wall is finished, it will be “virtually impenetrable,” and said that depending on the area, the wall is being built at either 18 feet, or 30 feet tall.