Presidential candidates often make many outlandish promises in a bid to snatch the victory, only to fail to fulfil them if when they reach the White House. So, when Donald Trump pledged to build a wall along the the US and Mexico border, many thought it would never happen.
Whether it be down to the sheer size of the project, or the belief that nobody would actually let him get away with it, most people believed Trump’s words were just hot air. However, today, it can be confirmed that Trump has stayed true to his promise, as construction of the monstrous boundary wall has commenced. On Tuesday, the federal government confirmed that contractors are now in the process building eight prototypes of Trump’s proposed border wall, a process which is scheduled to take 30 days. The construction of the prototypes comes three months later than planned, after a dispute erupted, when contractors who didn’t get chosen to build the wall, which will cost an estimated $70 billion to build, protested. The chosen contractors will build a 30ft long and 30ft tall prototype wall, over the allotted 30 days. Then, the US Border Agency will chose one, or maybe none, of the samples to be used as the official wall. During a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump confirmed that he will also be on site during the selection process: “I’m going to go out and look at them personally, I’m going to pick the right one,” he said, intensifying the belief that the contractors will be selected in the style of Trump’s hit TV show, The Apprentice. Originally, it was stated that the wall would be built from concrete. However, on Friday, Trump said that it should be see-though:
“You know, it has to be a see-through wall. I don’t know if you know this, frankly, I didn’t know it until about a year ago, as much as I say. If you can’t have vision through it you don’t know who’s on the other side.”
“So you have a concrete wall … But you can’t see anything, right? So now they take drugs literally and they throw it, a hundred pounds of drugs. They throw it over the wall, they have catapults, but they throw it over the wall and it lands and it hits somebody on the head, you don’t even know they’re there. Believe it or not, this is the kind of stuff that happens. So you need to have a great wall, but it has to be see-through,”
Trump also informed the audience at the rally that the wall doesn’t necessarily need to be continuous. He addressed criticisms that the wall faced when Trump announced it, by explaining:
“Somebody said, ‘well, what are you going to do? Are you going to build that wall in the middle of the river that nobody can go in? Are you going to build that wall on the mountain?’ I said you don’t need the wall on the mountain, you have a mountain which is a wall. But we’re going to build the wall, it’s coming along great.”
The prototypes are being constructed in San Diego, California, close to the existing 46 miles of high-security fencing which separates the US from Mexico. There has been a border wall in place in San Diego County for decades. In most places the barrier consisted of nothing more than barbed wire, until it was upgraded in the 1980s to a firm wall. By the 1990s, a secondary wall was added. Now, a 46 mile barrier stands on the 60 mile long border between San Diego and Mexico. In anticipation of protests, the area is being heavily monitored by security who aim to keep the peace, with the LA Times reporting that a “free speech zone” has been created, to allow protestors to vent their anger. Whilst no protesters are yet to congregate on the site, objections to the wall are being publicly made. Last week, California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed a complaint against the construction claiming that the administration overstepped its authority to help speed up the process. Trump has always insisted that construction of the wall will be paid for by Mexico, something Mexico have vehemently opposed. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, last year made it clear that Mexico will not pay, when he tweeted: “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.” Former Mexican President Vicente Fox echoed this sentiment, when he told CNN: “I’m not going to pay for that f—ing wall.” However, the wall appears to be the least of Trump’s concern at present, with his focus firmly centred on the NFL, where players are kneeling in protest of the President. To watch the prototype walls begin to take shape, watch this latest news report which provides exclusive footage. What do you think of Trump’s wall? Is it a “racist monument” and a colossal waste of money? Or is it a necessary blockade in the fight against illegal immigration. Let us know in the comments section below.
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