Trump’s Steel Barrier Fails Basic Tests

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump has seemingly abandoned the idea of building a concrete border wall and has settled on a steel barrier, but would a steel barrier actually be any more effective at deterring illegal border crossings, or would it be worse?

If tests conducted by the Trump regime tell us anything, it's that a steel barrier would be giant waste of time, money, and resources.

The Department of Homeland Security built a series of prototypes for Trump's wall including a steel barrier and all of them were easily breached, but the steel barrier may have been the most vulnerable.

From NBC News:

President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated for a steel slat design for his border wall, which he described as "absolutely critical to border security" in his Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday. But Department of Homeland Security testing of a steel slat prototype proved it could be cut through with a saw, according to a report by DHS.

A photo exclusively obtained by NBC News shows the results of the test after military and Border Patrol personnel were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools. [...]

[Testing] by DHS in late 2017 showed all eight prototypes, including the steel slats, were vulnerable to breaching, according to an internal February 2018 U.S. Customs and Border Protection report.

According to NBC News, Border Patrol agents were able to cut through Trump's steel barrier with a common household saw.

Trump responded to this report when he spoke outside the White House this morning by saying it was designed by a previous administration, but it was built in 2017 at Trump's direction along with all the other prototypes.

Looking at photos of the barrier now, the fact that you could easily cut through it is obviously a problem, but it's also not clear to me what this barrier is intended to stop. If it's suppose to stop the flow of drugs as Trump insists, why is there so much space between each bar?

  • katanahamon

    Let’s see..Trump Vodka, Trump Casinos, Trump Magazine, Trump Steaks, there’s a list of a zillion failures. Yet, we continue to allow this lunatic to rant and rave and try to somehow normalize his behavior into presidential behavior. It’s…insane.

  • muselet

    Build a 30-foot wall and watch people on the other side start making 31-foot ladders. Build a steel-slat barrier and watch sales of reciprocating saws and angle grinders soar.

    Is there anything Donald Trump has ever gotten right?


    • katanahamon

      Hacksaw blades, any hardened tool steel saw, probably even those flexible diamond impregnated cables. Rope ladders…lots of easy, low tech solutions.

    • Badgerite

      Check this out. A Project Engineer’s View of trump’s Wall, posted at Daily Kos by engineer Amy Patrick, “who introduces herself in the first paragraphs.”

      “I am a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high performance projects and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors weren’t properly accounted for, and I’m an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown. I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.
      Am I a wall expert? I am. I am literally a court accepted expert on walls.
      Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors. not engineers. This means it’s not been designed by professionals. It’s a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.
      What disasters?
      Off the top of my head…
      1) It will mess with our ability to drain flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go ( doesn’t matter there are holes in the wall of whatever) is going to dramatically increase risk of flooding.
      2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. They’re either planning to circumvent all this, or they haven’t accounted for it yet, because that is part of the design process, and this thing hasn’t been designed.
      3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or don’t actually do the job. This article explains more.…/…./amp/17599.html
      And so on.
      The estimates provided for the cost are arrived at unreasonably. You can look for yourself at the two-year-old estimate that you see everyone citing. ”
      “It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign…’s going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with nearly constant change orders. “Cost overrun” will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in trump’s lifetime.
      I’m a structural forensicist, which means I’m called in when things go wrong. This ia a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just obliterated. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed…..”
      “Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me. And it won’t be effective.
      I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and wield a cheap saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it.”

      The word boondoggle comes to mind. As the article she cites points out, none of the prototypes are functional on anything beyond a slop of 15%. And only a few are functional on that slight an incline.
      This is a “national emergency” alright. Utter lunacy.

      • katanahamon

        Nice..maybe the media will start to point this out..

      • muselet

        This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money.

        No foolin’.

        Thanks for the link.


    • katanahamon


  • Badgerite

    It trump casinos all over again. He is a wastrel and always has been. He is anything but a ‘businessman’. And he certainly doesn’t give a crap about American lives. They are at risk because of him.