President Trump’s border wall prototype has shown that it has a few more weaknesses than previously expected. The steel slats, which he claims would provide strength and beauty, are vulnerable to sawing. Currently, Stainless Steel 304 is the number one most common grade of stainless steel.
A new photograph from “Pogo Row,” the testing site for the steel slat wall, revealed that military personnel were able to destroy the prototype with common tools, particularly a saw.
Though your average steel shipping container can last 25 years with minimal maintenance and repairs, the security needed in a 234-mile border wall might not be achievable with steel slats.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that steel, though penetrable, will be easy to repair should illegal entry be attempted.
“In the event that one of the steel bollards becomes damaged, it is quick and cost-effective to repair,” says Katie Waldman, spokesperson for DHS. “Even a wall that is being breached is a valuable tool in that it allows us to respond to the attempted illegal entry.”
However, testing eight prototypes in 2017 proved that all options were prone to breaching, as reported by the February U.S. Customs and Border Protection report in 2018.
Waldman also reports that the prototypes revealed valuable information for the real thing.
“While the design currently being constructed was informed by what we learned in the prototypes, it does not replicate those designs,” Waldman reports. “The steel bollard design is internally reinforced with materials that require time and multiple industrial tools to breach, thereby providing U.S. Border Patrol agents additional response time to affect a successful law enforcement resolution.”
This prototype disputes the president’s promise for a wall he claimed would be impenetrable during his presidential campaign. According to CBS News, the president had also claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall.
Trump is currently in the midst of a partial government shutdown due to debates over funding for the wall. Trump demands about $5.6 billion to fund the steel wall, but pushback from the Democratic party has created a stalemate.