SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — About two and a half years ago, President Trump visited eight border wall prototypes built along the border between Tijuana and Southeast San Diego.
Trump has always maintained a wall on the U.S. southern border is vital to national security.
One of the prototypes was to be selected and used as model for the border wall construction.
“At the end of the day, this was all vanity all about his vanity project,” said Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee.
Rios remembers being just south of the border when Trump toured the site and the prototypes.
“He didn’t even inspect all of them. This was part of a show of him arriving, making a scene like he was making a decision on prototypes to be used. In the end, none of them were used, just a waste of taxpayer money,” Rios said.
Rios is accurate about none of the prototypes being used.
When the decision came done, the White House and U.S. Customs and Border Protection rejected all the prototypes and went with another design.
About a year later, the prototypes were demolished and are now mounds of concrete chunks, rebar and pipes. Tumbleweeds now grow on the broken up cement.
Estimates say the prototypes, including design, construction and demolition cost taxpayers about $20 million.
“This was a boondoggle, a waste of money something that was made essentially just to pacify those who follow President Trump and believe a border wall would be a solution to migration,” Rios said.
Through a statement, the Border Patrol stressed all the structures served a purpose providing a basis for the current design being implemented throughout the U.S.-Mexico border.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) constructed eight different wall prototypes to be assessed and evaluated for performance, constructability, and deployability to satisfy the U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) operational requirements. At the conclusion of the testing and evaluation, the information gathered enabled USBP to select attributes which have been incorporated into the border barrier toolkit and may be applied to future construction project designs. Because this location is where CBP is constructing Secondary wall, the prototypes were demolished. The Contractor is still working this project and all of the concrete will be removed before construction is completed. Much of the concrete will be crushed and reused for road base.”
The rubble now sits on state-owned property that will be turned into a new port of entry in the San Diego/Tijuana region.