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Definitive proof that Trump’s steel wall doesn’t work

A test with ordinary hardware tools shows how easily anyone would be able to breach Trumps’ steel wall.

Definitive proof that Trump’s steel wall doesn’t work
[Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

NBC has obtained a photo showing that the steel slat wall Donald Trump has been vigorously espousing can be cut with a saw. Clearly, the wall would not work as Trump envisioned it–nor would the other prototypes.

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In 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tested eight wall prototypes that Trump and his cronies are considering for the Mexico border. The test was simple: DHS asked the military to try to breach the wall using ordinary tools available at any hardware store.

All the walls failed. Concrete, steel, steel and concrete–nothing held up. All these inexpensive materials can be breached as long as you have a cheap, commercially available electric saw. (And the prohibitively expensive alloys that can resist hardware tools can be jumped over anyway.)

The photo leaked to NBC is one of many that were redacted from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection report first obtained by San Diego public radio KPBS following a Freedom of Information Act request. “The heavily redacted government documents reveal every mock-up was deemed vulnerable to at least one breaching technique,” the radio station story says. According to the report, the DHS even had to stop one of the breach tests because the entire wall was going to collapse. The report also showed that the government agency didn’t test for tunnels under the wall, which seems like a significant oversight, given that tunnels have been dug to smuggle in drugs and people in the past.

Obviously, the Trump administration doesn’t want you to see these images. What is clear now is that the wall is a failure in any of its designs or materials–a joke with a multibillion-dollar price tag that hopefully will never get made.

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About the author

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce and a contributing writer at Fast Company.

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