New Anti Climb Border Wall Prototype Being Installed in California Raises Concerns

Source: Border Report / Border Wall Prototypes

The Department of Homeland Security announced today that a new prototype for the United States-Mexico border wall has been constructed. The prototype is 30 feet tall and is made of concrete and steel. While proponents argue the new design will increase border security, critics have expressed concern over the wall’s potential impact on wildlife migration patterns and relationships with neighboring communities.

The debate surrounding the border wall continues as the government moves forward with plans to extend barriers along the southern border. With the recent completion of the latest prototype, tensions are rising between those who want increased border security and those who desire a more open border.

Overview of the New Border Wall Prototype

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency recently installed a new anti-climbing prototype feature on top of an existing border wall segment located near Friendship Park in southern California. According to reports, the prototype resembles a metal wing or wedge that extends outward over the Mexican side of the border.

Source: Jorge Nieto

The CBP has declined to comment on the specific capabilities and purpose of the new prototype. However, migrant advocates believe the design is intended to prevent individuals from scaling the border wall. For instance, Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee referred to the prototype as a “techito,” meaning “little roof” in Spanish.

Concerns Regarding Safety and Symbolism

While the CBP aims to improve border security with the new prototype, migrant advocates have expressed concerns about its impact. For example, Rios worries that individuals attempting to scale the border wall may become stuck or fall, risking severe injury.

Source: Jorge Nieto

Advocates are also troubled by the symbolic significance of testing the prototype at Friendship Park, which was designed to celebrate unity between the U.S. and Mexico. Rios argues that the new anti-climbing feature “does the exact opposite. It represents denial, exclusion and is pushing people away.”

Key Features of the New Design

The new prototype design of the border wall includes several notable features aimed at increasing its effectiveness as a barrier. According to reports, the top of the 30-foot wall has been outfitted with curved metal plates that overhang the Mexican side of the border.

Source: Jorge Nieto

These plates, which migrant advocates have dubbed “techitos” or “little roofs,” are designed to thwart climbing attempts by making it difficult for individuals to grasp the top of the wall. The metal plates create an overhang that prevents climbers from reaching the top edge of the wall, thereby inhibiting their ability to hoist themselves over.

Potential Advantages of the Prototype

The new prototype design features an anti-climbing apparatus meant to deter unauthorized individuals from scaling the barrier. According to sources, the wedge-shaped metal additions make climbing over the wall extremely difficult, if not impossible. If proven effective, the prototype could significantly strengthen border security by reducing unlawful border crossings in areas where it is implemented.

Source: Jorge Nieto

While the initial costs of research, development, and testing the prototype may be high, the design itself is relatively inexpensive to produce and install. The simplistic nature of the wedge-shaped addition means it can be easily attached to existing wall structures without requiring full replacement.

Concerns Raised by Critics

Critics argue that the funds used for the new anti-climbing border wall prototype could have been better spent on more pressing needs. According to Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee, “It’s a waste of money.” The resources required to develop and install these new wall prototypes divert funds away from other government services.

Source: American Friends Service Committee

There are concerns that the new wall design could lead to injuries for those attempting to scale the barrier. Rios stated, “People will continue to try and scale the border wall. The concern here is someone who’s at that height, and if they get stuck, they will probably fall and severely injure themselves.”

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

The construction of the new border wall prototype has raised concerns about its environmental impact, especially on Friendship Park. The binational garden at Friendship Park was created to symbolize friendship between the U.S. and Mexico. However, border wall construction has prevented access to the garden for nearly two years, effectively destroying it.

Source: Unsplash/ANGELA BENITO

According to Daniel Watman, a volunteer who helps maintain the garden, “There hasn’t been access allowed to the garden on the U.S. side for almost two years since October 2021.” Watman and other volunteers recently trespassed on federal property to tend to the neglected garden.

Reactions From Border Communities

As construction continues on the new border wall prototype in California, nearby border communities have expressed concerns about the barrier’s impact. According to Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee, the wall’s “anti-climbing feature” is meant to prevent migrants from scaling the wall but may lead to injuries if individuals fall or become trapped.

Source: American Friends Service Committee

Rios believes the funding for the wall’s construction could have been better spent addressing other issues. Supporters argue that the wall threatens the binational garden located in Friendship Park, which has traditionally symbolized unity between the U.S. and Mexico.

Legal and Political Hurdles

Legal and political opposition has emerged regarding the new border wall prototype. Critics argue that the metal barrier threatens the binational garden in Friendship Park, an area meant to foster cross-border relationships.

Source: Border Wall Prototypes

Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee believes the prototype “will likely cause more injuries” and “does the exact opposite” of the park’s purpose. He adds that the funds used for this new design and construction could have been allocated to other areas.

Pushing The Boundaries To Prove a Point

Watman and other volunteers recently trespassed on federal land to tend to the binational garden, hoping to highlight how the area “needs to have friendship and cross-border contact.” Access to the garden and surrounding park has been prohibited since October 2021 due to the pandemic and wall construction. Watman fears the garden will be destroyed, stating that Border Patrol priorities of enforcement leave little room for such a symbol of unity.

Source: Stefan Falke

The wall and anti-climbing mechanisms represent division and separation to critics, conflicting with the garden’s message of friendship. Rios finds testing the prototype at Friendship Park “ironic,” highlighting the park’s purpose of togetherness.

A New Border Wall Design Conflict

The new border wall prototype unveiled this week has generated both optimism and apprehension. Supporters are encouraged that the new design may finally provide an effective barrier along the southern border. However, critics argue that the wall comes with a high economic and environmental cost that outweighs any potential benefits.

Source: Border Wall Prototypes

Only time will tell whether the wall prototype lives up to its promises or falls short of expectations. Regardless of one’s views on border security, this new wall marks a significant development with far-reaching implications for immigration policy and cross-border relations that are yet to be determined.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

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