The 30-foot bollard-style barrier that has been constructed along the United States-Mexico border in Calexico, California is part of President Trump’s promised border wall, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson says.
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, DHS spokesperson Katie Waldman said the recently finished bollard barrier in Calexico is part of the Trump border wall.
Listen to Waldman’s full interview here:
“In Calexico, we just finished our first, what DHS will call the first Trump border wall because what was previously there was dilapidated, old landing mat [which] was replaced with a 30-foot steel bollard,” Waldman said. “And I think before this administration, before President Trump took office, that is never something that would have been built.”
“Border Patrol listed this as a priority going back to 2009, yet it languished in the previous administration without any action despite Border Patrol ranking this as their top priority,” Waldman said. “And President Trump saw that, took it up, funded it, and because of that, we have a 30-foot wall. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a fence that’s 30 feet high. It’s quite a site to see.”
In a recent instance, illegal border crossers were caught dropping a child from the top of the Yuma, Arizona sector’s 18-foot border barrier.
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) December 4, 2018
Waldman says Trump’s border wall is an “ad hoc-based” project, as it relies on portions of funding from Congress, the most recent of which was a mere $1.6 billion included in an omnibus spending bill from April.
This means the promised border wall will come in various forms, rather than a uniform wall extending across all 2,000 miles of the border, Waldman says:
It’s ad hoc based on the funding and based on what the sector and what our folks on the ground say that they need. So it might be different in each different sector and each different section of the wall.
In certain sections, we’re going to see 30-foot high bollards, in other sections we’re going to see gates. It totally depends, it is what is best on the ground to secure the border.
Though the bollard barrier is different from the prototype walls that were tested in the San Diego, California desert earlier this year, Waldman says the prototypes were never destined to become a far-stretching wall along the entire border.
“So what prototyping was meant to do was help us inform what is the best in terms of operational use,” Waldman said. “So when the Army Rangers who tested on them, what we found is that bollard actually is the best for us because we’re actually able to see through it. So that’s what we were able to take away from prototyping.”
“It was never going to be, this is the winner, or that is the winner,” Waldman said. “It is what is the attribute of each different one of those walls that makes it for the best thing to have on our border to make it the most secure.”
Currently, the Trump administration is asking the Republican-controlled Congress for a fifth of border wall funding that Waldman says is necessary to ensure the U.S. is not a “less secure nation” with “more criminals” and “more drugs.”
Democrats say they are only willing to sign off on $1.6 billion in funding with the promise that the money goes towards “border security” measures and not a physical barrier to be constructed.
“We’re building wall right now,” Waldman said. “By the end of Fiscal [Year] 2019, we’ll have built over 120 miles of new wall. That’s a start. We have 2,000 miles. If we get the funds of $5 billion that the president has asked for, we’ll construct 330 miles of wall.”
“That’s what Congress is deciding right now,” Waldman said. “Do you want a secure nation and do Americans want to know who is coming into their country and who has a right to be here or do we not? I believe in this last election, Americans demanded a secure border, that’s what the president is trying to deliver to them and I hope Congress does the same.”
“We need a wall,” Waldman said. “We need to ensure that we don’t have unchecked mass migration at our borders.”
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