I don’t know about you all, but the minute Donald Trump announced that his signature policy goal would be to build a 2,000-mile, 40-foot high border wall with Mexico that the Mexicans themselves would pay for, I simply nodded my head and waited for the idea to become reality. Nothing seemed amiss to me—just get to work building, and collect regular checks from Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto to finance the construction. How is this any different from building a casino in Atlantic City? I mean, what’s the big deal?
As it turns out, you and I and everyone else who thought this project was a big no-brainer…we might have missed something. Thankfully, the New York Times investigative team is on the case, and they reached a staggering conclusion: This whole wall thing might be kind of unrealistic. Behold:
But the wall — symbolic of an iron-fisted immigration policy and providing a rallying cry for his supporters — has proved to be as divisive in theory as it would be in practice. And experts in domestic security, immigration policy and civil engineering say that building it would be a daunting task and cause more problems than it would solve.
Some see that as low. “There’s a lot of logistics involved in this, and I don’t know how thoroughly they’ve thought it out,” said Todd Sternfeld, chief executive of Superior Concrete, a Texas-based builder of walls. “The resources alone would be astronomical.”
Mr. Sternfeld, who has led major wall projects across the country and approached the Trump family last summer, suggested that Mr. Trump was overly optimistic about the cost and was underestimating the complexity of the undertaking.
SHUT UP. ALL OF YOU SHUT UP.
Running the numbers, Mr. Sternfeld said a 40-foot-tall concrete wall using a “post and panel” system that went 10 feet below the ground — to minimize tunneling — would cost at least $26 billion. The logistics would be nightmarish, including multiple concrete casting sites and temporary housing for a crew of 1,000 workers if the job were to be completed within Mr. Trump’s first four-year term.
Maintenance would be an additional recurring expense, said Walter W. Boles, an engineering professor at Middle Tennessee State University who specializes in concrete construction. Deep trench work would also be necessary for keeping a wall of that height from toppling, he said, and seismic sensors to detect digging would be wise for preserving its integrity from below.
JUST DROP THE WALL FROM AN AIRPLANE SO IT LANDS ON THE BORDER. WHY ALL THIS FUSS?
Setting aside the need for congressional approval and a likely fight with Mexico over financing, many who study borders doubt that a mass of concrete would accomplish its purpose. From the ancient Great Wall of China to Israel’s modern security barrier, walls rarely prove totally impervious to people set on traversing them.
Walls tend to be crude solutions to complex problems and are evidence of geopolitical failure, said Michael Dear, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in the border with Mexico.
“People always find a way to go above or below or through a wall,” said Professor Dear, the author of “Why Walls Won’t Work.” “It’s just political window dressing and rabble-rousing of the worst order.”
THERE’S A WHOLE BOOK ON WHY THE WALL ISN’T A GOOD IDEA?!?!!
If you’re a fellow wall-lover, it just gets worse. Apparently there are issues with water flow that make the wall even more impossible, and in a twist that had my jaw on the floor, the Times even suggests that Trump’s plan to deport 11 million immigrant might not be entirely practical.
This report has completely changed the way I think about The Great Wall of Trump, and one thing’s for sure: Even more than all the other times when criticisms and blunders were going to end his candidacy, this stunning report will finally, comprehensively, and totally bury the Donald for good.