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October 26, 2018

About that wall Trump said Mexico would be paying for…

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From the very start of his campaign for the U.S. presidency, Donald Trump has passionately promoted construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico — and insisted that Mexico would pay for it. He remains determined to get something built, even if it’s not as vast as he initially envisaged. Ever since Mexico refused to foot the bill, the wall’s funding has been ensnared in budget negotiations in the U.S. Congress.

1. Why a wall?

Trump, in his many public statements on immigration and border security, has said an “impenetrable” wall would “stop dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country.”

2. What might the wall look like?

Though Trump denies changing his position, he no longer seeks a monolithic, 30-foot-tall concrete wall stretching for more than 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers). An administration proposal early in 2018 called for a more modest 722-mile barrier that’s a mix of wall and fencing, mostly updating what’s been in place for decades, while relying on drones and other methods to secure the rest.

3. What’s been done so far?

Eight prototypes were erected in a desert outside San Diego, California — four of them primarily concrete, two made mostly of metal and two others being hybrid designs of concrete, metal bars and steel plating. The mock-ups were tested for their ability to repel attempts to climb over, smash through or tunnel underneath. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said no single winner will be selected; rather, each prototype will “inform future border wall design standards in some capacity” — once there’s money.

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