Last week, the Customs and Border Protection Agency posted two contract requests that give us a glimpse at what President Trump’s border wall could look like when construction is finished.
It’s unclear from the postings if CBP is considering two different approaches to the wall or if the plan is to construct the wall in different ways, depending on the location. Either way, the agency is asking bidders to submit their plans for a wall that meets one of two different expectations.
From the AP:
One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure. Both require the wall to sunk at least six feet into the ground and include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles. The proposed wall must also be built in a such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.”
The White House already has a certain amount of money that has been set aside for border protection, but it won’t be nearly enough to complete construction on Trump’s wall – whatever form it might ultimately take. In his budget proposal to Congress, the president is asking for an additional $2.6 billion in funding to get the first stage of the wall underway. Whether Republicans will be able to (or see fit to) allocate this money remains to be seen. Also unknown is how much the wall will cost when everything is finished. Estimates range from $12 to $20 billion.
If the wall lives up to its intended purpose, there’s almost no price tag too exorbitant. If it doesn’t, then it’s a waste of money no matter how much or little it costs. And if Trump can actually find a way to make Mexico pay for it, then all of this talk about cost is academic anyway. Let them figure out how they’re going to come up with the money.
As for the actual appearance of the thing, that’s such a secondary concern that it barely deserves attention. A functional wall that’s an eyesore can be forgiven; a beautiful or nonexistent wall that lets illegal immigrants pour into the country cannot be. This is about the life or death of the United States, not getting rave reviews from Architectural Digest.
But hey, if Trump can deliver on his promise to make the wall “beautiful” as well as impenetrable, we’re all for it.