5 Jump the Fence Into US—at Border Wall Model Site

Prototypes at San Diego site are almost finished
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2017 4:34 AM CDT
Border Wall Prototypes Are Almost Finished
A border wall prototype stands near the border with Tijuana, Mexico, on Thursday in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The last two of eight prototypes for President Trump's proposed border wall took shape Thursday at a construction site in San Diego. The prototypes form a tightly packed row of imposing concrete and metal panels, including one with sharp metal edges on top, the AP reports. Companies have until Oct. 26 to finish the models, but Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco says the last two have come into profile, with crews installing a corrugated metal surface on the eighth model on a dirt lot just a few steps from homes in Tijuana, Mexico. As the crews worked, three men and two women from Nepal, ages 19 to 30, jumped a short rusted fence from Tijuana into the construction site and were immediately stopped by agents on horseback.

Francisco says there have been four or five other illegal crossing attempts at the site since work began Sept. 26. The models, which cost the government up to $500,000 each, were spaced 30 feet apart. Slopes, thickness, and curves vary. One has two shades of blue with white trim; the others are gray, tan, or brown—in sync with the desert. Guidelines call for the prototypes to stand between 18 and 30 feet high and be able to withstand at least an hour of punishment from a sledgehammer, pickax, chisel, or battery-operated tools. The segments must also be "aesthetically pleasing"—when viewed from the US side. The administration hasn't said how many winners it will pick or whether Trump will weigh in himself.

(Read more border wall stories.)

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