The DHS issued requests for proposals this week for the controversial wall the new US president has been promising to build along the US-Mexico border. The proposed designs should ideally create a 30-foot wall, though the department will consider barriers as small as 18 feet, Reuters reports. The side facing the US should also be "aesthetically pleasing in color."
The wall prototypes should be able to prevent people from climbing over them or digging under them, and should "prevent/deter for a minimum of 1 hour the creation of a physical breach of the wall (e.g., punching through the wall) larger than 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter or square using sledgehammer, car jack, pickaxe, chisel, battery-operated impact tools, battery-operated cutting tools, oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools," requests for prototype posted by US Customs and Border Patrol explained.
US President Donald Trump campaigned on a very tough stance on immigration, and seems to be doing his utmost to keep these campaign promises. Though repeatedly blocked by US courts, he continues to attempt to forbid immigration from many Muslim nations, and despite opposition voices saying a border wall would be an expensive ecological disaster, his team appears to want to go ahead with the idea.
— CBP (@CustomsBorder) March 18, 2017
The cost of the proposed wall is estimated at between $12 and $25 billion, only a fraction of which is currently available. Though shortly after his inauguration Trump issued an executive order calling for the wall to be funded, it's not yet clear where the money is to come from. Trump himself, of course, has said that Mexico will pay for the wall. Mexico, not surprisingly, has scoffed at that notion.
Reuters reports that the US requested an additional $3 billion for Homeland Security earlier this week, some of which will go into the development of the wall.
Meanwhile, a group of two dozen senators has introduced a bill to rescind the executive order authorizing the wall, calling it an expensive folly.