A real wall - or ineffective steel slats?

President Trump appears to have downgraded his requirements for a border wall to a rusty steel picket fence - which would not be totally effective.

Israel's wall works

Israel's wall is a real wall, and it works. Walls Save Lives. Israel Has Proof, Barry Shaw, Canada Free Press, December 22, 2018.

Israel wall

Real border wall prototypes

Here are some photos and discussion of the border wall prototypes constructed in 2018.

Border wall prototype 2018 - Reuters, Mike Blake

[Reuters / Mike Blake]


Border wall prototypes 2018, Reuters, Jorge Duenes

[Reuters / Jorge Duenes]

A look at Trump’s border wall prototypes, Washington Post, March 13, 2018:

Any wall design must meet the following requirements:

  • Walls must be at least 18 feet high, however, 30 feet is considered ideal.
  • A person shouldn't [be able] to climb to the top unassisted. Walls should also include anti-climbing features that prevent scaling, even with the use of climbing aids.
  • Any exposed fixtures need to be on the U.S. side to shield from possible tampering.
  • The U.S. side of the wall should be visually pleasing in color, texture, and fit into the general environment.
  • No hole larger than a foot can be made through the wall in under an hour of trying with the use of hand-held tools.
  • Wall designs must be cost effective to construct, maintain, and repair. The designs should also accommodateBorder Patrol approved pedestrian and vehicle sliding gates.
  • Wall designs must also be able to prevent tunneling from below for at least 6 feet.
  • Walls must accommodate surface drainage and also be constructible on slopes of up to 45 percent.

It should also be noted that Border Patrol agents prefer walls that they can see through.

Trump is visiting the 8 prototypes for his border wall — see what they look like, Business Insider, March 13, 2018.

Steel slat fencing

Now a look at steel slat fencing.

Walls Work, DHS, December 12, 2018. Take a look at the steel slat fence.

DHS spike fence 2018dec

Here are some issues with that fence:

  • Arroyos, as shown in the "before" photo, are problematic. A fence or wall can't effectively block them because flash floods would clog the fence and dam the Arroyo.
  • The "after" photo shows flat terrain, not the arroyo.
  • The photos on the site are of extremely poor quality - probably deliberately so.
  • The "after" fence on the site appears to be better, but still easily climbable. In fact, someone could lasso the top pikes for roped assistance. It would be easy to set up a rope and pulley system, with a saddle blanket on top of the fence for padding. Of course, a boom lift could probably breach any wall what was not a secure Israel-style wall.
  • It appears that the new fence does not extend underground. It's amazingly easy to dig out desert sand.
  • The article states that walls do work. However, the wall as shown in the photo is inadequate, and only 31 miles of such wall have been built. The article appears to be marginal marketing by the DHS to explain their attempt to obtain results with limited wall funding.

Trump now wants a rusty steel picket fence

Trump now wants the same style steel fence: Wall of Spikes: Trump Releases Design of “Steel Slat” Wall, Big League Politics, December 21, 2018.

Sketch of Trump spike fence 2018dec

Why is Trump settling for a much less effective fence instead of a full border wall? 

The solution to stopping the invasion into America is to fund the wall - in its entirety. A real wall - not some rusty picket fence.

Also note that border security should be augmented with inexpensive technology that works. Here are some possibilities:

Inventor's technology links drones to sensors, Sierra Vista Herald, June 13, 2017.