Trump: New border wall a ‘world-class security system’ – ‘It’s the Rolls-Royce version.’ Wall is made of concrete-filled steel bollards that allows agents to see into Mexico

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif., as acting Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan listens, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By KEVIN FREKING and ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press  SAN DIEGO (AP) 09/19 — President Donald Trump signed his name on a newly constructed section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, calling it a “world-class security system” that will be virtually impenetrable.

Trump toured a section of the border wall in San Diego’s Otay Mesa area on Wednesday. It was a return trip for the Republican president, who traveled there in March 2018 to see border wall prototypes that authorities later destroyed to make way for 14 miles of steel, concrete-filled bollards currently under construction.

Before construction began, the border in San Diego was protected by an initial layer of sheet metal that was easily blow-torched and a second, more formidable layer that could be compromised with powerful, battery-operated saws.

President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

“It was like a sheet metal, and people would just knock it over like just routinely,” Trump said, referring to the initial layer that was replaced. He stood with construction workers and top Customs and Border Protection, Army Corps of Engineers and homeland security officials.

Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, defended the project, dismissing critics who call it the “president’s vanity wall.”

“I’m here to tell you that’s false,” he said, telling reporters that Trump reached out to border experts to find out what they needed. “You listened to the agents,” he told Trump.

Trump highlighted features of the wall, which he said have been studied by three other countries. He said the wall absorbs heat — “You can fry an egg on that wall.” The concrete goes deep into the ground to prevent tunneling. And agents can see through it to spot possible threats on the Mexican side of the border, he said.

“When the wall is built, it will be virtually impossible to come over illegally, and then we’re able to take border control and put them at points of entry,” Trump said.

‘It’s the Rolls-Royce version’.

President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif., with the Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, left, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan, center left, and acting Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

He heaped praise on the Mexican government, especially for sending tens of thousands of troops to its northern and southern borders to help slow the flow of migrants headed toward the United States. He said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “has been great.”

“We’re all thrilled,” Trump said. “You know Mexico has never done anything to impede people from pouring into our country and now they’re doing just the opposite. They’ve really been incredible.”

The president reveled in details of construction, saying Border Patrol and military officials persuaded him to adopt more expensive designs. He said he dropped a preference for solid concrete, instead opting for concrete-filled steel bollards that allow agents to see through to Mexico to spot assailants throwing rocks or other projectiles. He agreed to go along with barriers that are 30 feet high and double-layered in heavily traveled areas.

“It’s the Rolls-Royce version,” Trump said.

President Donald Trump signs his name as he tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

When Trump asked Army Corps Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite to explain how technology embedded in the wall alerts agents to illegal activity, he was told, “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it.”

Semonite offered new details on the pace of construction that underscored how quickly the administration plans to move.

It has built 66 miles, has 251 miles in various stages of construction at 17 sites and has contracts for 163 miles planned in the next 90 days, the general said. Additional land on private property is expected to take more time.

Crews are installing 270 panels a day, each one with eight bollards.

Trump, whose construction targets have shifted, said he expects to build up to about 550 miles of wall along the 1,954-mile border and said the administration will pause at about 400 miles to assess what more is needed.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller watches as President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

Trump said cost concerns led him to put aside his preference to paint the wall black, which absorbs heat. He said the wall was “a good, strong rust color” and could be painted later.

Trump is riding a string of wins on the wall and on immigration in general. Arrests on the Mexican border arrests plunged in August, well beyond the usual summer dip, from a 13-year high reached in May. Arrests are still relatively high, topping 50,000 in 10 of the last 11 months, compared with only eight months over the previous decade.

Last week, the Supreme Court gave Trump a green light to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. border with Mexico without having first sought protection in the third country.

The Pentagon recently diverted $3.6 billion from 127 military construction projects to build 175 miles of barriers on the border. Trump had promised during the 2016 presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall.

https://www.apnews.com/56fe325e5b334d0c87fa77f60edd8b04

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Border Control, Border Patrol, Illegal Immigration, International Policing, U.S. Government

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × one =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.