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Donald Trump

Trump’s ‘steel slat’ Mexico border wall design was sawed through in Homeland Security test, report says

  • A prototype of the ‘steel slats’ fence the US president has been touting was cut apart with a saw, according to NBC News
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 10:37am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 10:36am

President Donald Trump has recently advocated for a “steel slat” barrier along the US-Mexico border after earlier pushing for a concrete wall to stop the flow of migrants.

But steel slats may not be the “impenetrable wall” Trump promised on the campaign trail in 2016. A report from NBC News said during a Department of Homeland Security test, steel slats were sawed through in one of the wall prototypes the president reviewed in March 2018.

Most of the designs were solid concrete, but two featured steel slats. Trump said he favoured such a design when he reviewed the samples because border officials said they wanted to see what was on the other side. He also said transparency could keep someone from being hit by large sacks of drugs thrown over the wall.

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According to NBC News, which obtained a photo of the sawed-through barrier, the steel slats were damaged after “military and Border Patrol experts were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools”.

On Sunday, Trump said he now prefers a “steel barrier rather than concrete” because it is “stronger” and “less obtrusive”. Pictures he has shared of his concept resemble the steel bollard fencing already in use along much of the southern border.

A Customs and Border Protection report obtained by San Diego public broadcasting station KPBS through a Freedom of Information Act request showed all the prototypes could be breached in some way.

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CBP spokesman Ralph DeSio told KPBS the wall prototypes “were not and cannot be designed to be indestructible”. He said the idea was to “impede or deny efforts to scale, breach, or dig under such a barrier, giving agents time to respond”.