Greetings from Mexico. Got an up-close look at Trump's almost-done border wall prototypes from both sides of border. https://t.co/AJULBGx5RP
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) October 23, 2017
“What happened? People are crossing.”
MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff was in Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego this week reporting on the border wall prototypes. The Trump administration chose six companies to design and construct mini walls as an audition to win lucrative contracts to build the president’s “big, beautiful” wall. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims that prototypes are being built so they can “evaluate what they need,” according to ABC News.
While Soboroff was speaking with a CBP agent, a group of people climbed over the current border fence and surrendered to CBP once on the U.S. side. Soboroff asked the CBP agent to explain what had just happened.
“This is the reality of every day border enforcement. The United States is still the draw, the ultimate draw, for people that have dire situations where they’re at,” the agent explains. “We’re going to continue to witness this. It plays out on a regular basis for us.”
A new border wall was a central part of Trump’s presidential campaign. Not only did he promise a wall that would span the entire southern border of the U.S., he also insisted he’d make Mexico pay for it. However, both of those assurances have become less and less likely since he has taken office.
First, leaked transcripts of Trump’s first phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto revealed that Trump conceded that Mexico would not pay for the wall. However, Trump pleaded with Peña Nieto, asking him not to tell the press about the concession so he could save face.
Second, Congress is not thrilled about approving a budget of more than $21 billion to construct the border wall, with many journalists, political commentators, a majority of Americans and others suggesting that the U.S. should be more concerned with updating the infrastructure in the U.S. instead.
Third, the second largest city in the country, Los Angeles, is looking for ways to legally penalize companies that choose to contribute to the border wall. Some of the things discussed by the Los Angeles City Council range from how companies bidding for city contracts can be scored according to their involvement with the border wall, to flat out denying contracts to border wall participants.
Looks like the “big, beautiful” wall is up against some serious challenges despite all the prototypes that have been erected.