President Donald Trump visited the San Diego border on Wednesday to inspect construction progress, revealing to the public a newly constructed portion of the wall following a fundraising trip in California.
Prior to the construction, the border in San Diego was nowhere near invincible.
According to TIME, the San Diego border was protected by an initial layer of sheet metal that easily gave way when blow-torched, and a second, more formidable layer that also fell short of standing against powerful, battery-operated saws.
“It was like a sheet metal and people would just knock it over like just routinely,” Trump said, noting the initial layer that was since replaced.
“When the wall is built, it will be virtually impossible to come over illegally, and then we’re able to take border control and put them at points of entry,” Trump said.
The president also commended the Mexican government, praising that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “has been great,” for sending troops to guard northern and southern borders of Mexico to slow down the flow of migrants en route to the United States.
“We’re all thrilled,” Trump said. “They’ve really been incredible,” the president exclaimed in joy as he noted how Mexico is now doing plenty of work to help stop illegal migrants, as opposed to before.
“It’s an amazing project,” Trump said, while pointing to the 30-foot high steel and concrete-built barricade.
“If you think you’re going to cut it with a blow torch, that doesn’t work, because you hit the concrete, and then if you think you’re going to go through the concrete, that doesn’t work because we have very powerful rebar inside,” the president said.
“We have it covered underground, we have it covered overground,” the president said, noting the wall also went six feet underground.
“It’s hardened concrete, very powerful concrete,” Trump said about the structure.
The president referred to the heat-retaining properties of the wall, remarking, “You can fry an egg on that wall.” He pointed out that he plans for the wall to be painted black and be lined with spikes in the future.
For this segment of the wall, 44,000 bollard panels were set up, then filled with concrete and rebar, Breitbart reports.
“There’s a false narrative out there that this wall is the president’s vanity wall,” an unnamed border security official said, according to Breitbart. “I’m here to tell you right now that that is false.”
As of Thursday, 66 miles of wall have been built so far, 251 miles are in various stages of construction at 17 sites, and contracts for 163 miles are planned in the next 90 days, Army Corps Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite said, according to a report by TIME. The report has also noted that additional land on private property is expected to take more time.
Arrests on the Mexican border drastically decreased in August, TIME reports.
On Sept. 11, the Supreme Court has authorized the Trump administration to block asylum seekers who “declined to request protection at the first opportunity,” and thus “deters aliens without a genuine need for asylum from making the arduous and potentially dangerous journey from Central America to the United States,” the rule states.