President Donald Trump has inspected prototypes of the border wall with Mexico. According to NBC News, Trump inspected a series of eight recently constructed wall prototypes in San Diego, California Tuesday, March 13.
“I’m gonna go out and look at them personally, and I’m gonna pick the right one,” said Trump during a rally in Alabama.
Those who support the building of the border wall say its construction is necessary as a means to deter illegal border crossings. However, critics of the wall’s construction say it’s a hostile symbol and environmentally harmful addition rather than an effective security measure.
“California thrives because we welcome immigrants and innovators from across the globe,” said California Gov. Jerry Brown in a letter to Trump on Monday, March 12. Brown urged Trump to focus on issues in the country that are more pressing than a border wall.
“You see,” Brown said, “in California, we are focusing on bridges, not walls. And that’s more than just a figure of speech.”
The eight prototypes for the border wall currently stand between 18 to 30 feet tall. Four of the walls are currently made of concrete while the others are constructed of other materials. The prototypes are being held in San Diego where Trump intends to inspect them on his way to a fundraiser.
The U.S. construction market was worth approximately $1,162 billion in 2016, and several contractors who worked on the prototypes were awarded between $300,000 to $500,000. The prototypes for the border wall have cost taxpayers as much as $2.4 million to $4 million.
Trump signed an executive order for the border wall’s immediate construction in January 2017. The plan involved up to 316 miles of new fencing. According to the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group, the border between Mexico and the United States is approximately 2,000 miles long and up to 653 miles are already blocked off with fencing.
In March 2017, Trump requested proposals for prototypes for the wall that was, what he called, aesthetically pleasing and physically imposing. However, a year later the funding for the construction of the wall remains halted in Congress. NBC News reports that the reason for the stall on construction is because the funds for the project simply don’t exist.
Up to $18 billion was requested by the Trump administration in 2017 for the construction of 700 miles of border wall. Congress rejected the request. Even the requested $1.8 billion for a down payment was rejected.
What’s more, the Department of Homeland Security said to push ahead with the first phase of the border wall construction would require them to waive over three dozen laws and regulations. American citizens in the Southwest would also need to hand over their private land in order for the wall to be completely constructed.