By Erik Sherman
January 10, 2019

All that would stand between someone in Mexico and the U.S. border are a trip to the hardware store. Common hand tools can leave the walls that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has tested with gaping holes that anyone could climb through, according to NBC News.

The pictures obtained by the network shows how thoroughly saws cut through the concrete-filled steel slat design. The original concrete wall concept that Donald Trump called for morphed into tall fencing and the government tested eight prototypes.

Last year, KPBS reported problems with the fencing. A CBP report the station obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showed that every one of the eight variations was vulnerable to at least one type of breaching attack.

A particular attack, was redacted in the report, “had the potential to impact the structural integrity of the entire mock-up.” The results in the images NBC obtained would seem to match that description.

Breaching techniques were not the only ones tried. There was a section on scaling the walls, but almost the entire section was redacted, so there is no public information to know how easily people could go over the top. There was also nothing in the report to show that the government tested the prototypes for their resistance to tunnels a minimum of six feet underground, according to the original specifications.

In other words, it is unclear whether wall construction, which is the purported reason for the budget impasse and government shutdown, can actually occur in an effective way.

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