Border patrol takes jackhammer to wall prototypes to test durability

By Danielle Haynes  |  Dec. 6, 2017 at 4:43 PM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection began testing the durability of the prototypes for President Donald Trump's border wall, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Carlos Diaz, CBP Southwest Branch public affairs chief, said agents used jackhammers and saws to test the likelihood of a breach of the wall and ropes and hooks to attempt to scale the wall planned along the border between the United States and Mexico.

"CBP is testing the prototypes against the techniques used by smugglers on the southwest border to circumvent current border barrier," he told Newsweek.

The testing period began Nov. 27, and physical tests started Monday on the eight wall prototypes built in San Diego.

The eight prototypes are between 18 feet and 30 feet high. Four are made of concrete and the rest use other materials.

Roy Villareal, deputy chief patrol agent of the San Diego sector of the existing wall, told ABC News the wall in the city has been breached nearly 2,000 times in the past three years.

"If you go back to the late '80s, the border was completely overrun. There were daily robberies, rapes, assaults, vehicle thefts, high-speed pursuits, people getting killed along the border in staggering numbers," he said. "That has all curtailed as a result of investment in border security. That has curtailed as a result of what you see here today."

One of Trump's most frequent campaign promises was to build the border wall; his rallies frequently featured chants of "build the wall."

"Eight Syrians were just caught on the southern border trying to get into the U.S. ISIS maybe? I told you so. WE NEED A BIG & BEAUTIFUL WALL!" he tweeted in November 2015.

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