Past Features

February 12, 2017

Trump Wall issues
Where are the problems?

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Glenn Spencer --- American Border Patrol 
Devil in the details
    According to Reuters, "Trump border 'wall' to cost $21.6 billion, take 3.5 years to build:"
    In the executive order to build the border wall, the president cites the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as the authority for actual construction of the 'wall.'
    The text of the act spells out locations where the fence is to be built.
    A closer look at these locations suggests serious construction challenges in some locations, while others do not. Construction of a double layered fence in some places, such as the severe Sonoran desert west of Lukeville, Arizona, raise questions as to the need for robust fencing at all.
    The most serious issues occur in Texas along the Rio Grande River. As shown by American Border Patrol's Operation BEEF, initial construction under the Secure Fence Act began using the river levees as a base.
     If this practice was followed, fewer issues would arise.
    Serious issues would remain with section (iv) in the Del Rio Sector.
    With the exception of Texas, completion of the Secure Fence Act fencing should be straightforward, and relatively inexpensive and could be completed quickly. In Texas the question is: Will DHS continue to use the levee system?
    These issues raise questions as to the rationale used by DHS that led to the design that led to the cost and schedule figures quoted by Reuters.
    As always, the devil is in the details and we eagerly await them.