According to local media outlets, construction on Donald Trump’s planned wall at the United States-Mexico border has begun in San Diego. According to Fox 8, the border wall which features “anti-climbing plates” is set to replace about 14 miles of scrap metal that previously served as an improvised fence.
The wall will begin about a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean and will stand 18-30 feet tall. According to Rodney Scott, chief of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)in the San Diego area, the new construction will help improve public safety.
“The construction of this new substantial wall will improve overall border security, the safety and effectiveness of Border Patrol agents, the safety of the public, and will enhance the atmosphere for business and commerce in the area,” says Scott.
The money funding construction of the wall comes from the spending bill that Trump signed back in March, allocating $1.6 billion toward the construction of a wall that Trump says will cover across the United States’ entire southern border. According to Vincent C. Pirro of the CBP the wall is nothing new as it mimics similar constructions already in place along other areas along the California-Mexico border.
“What I can tell you is that infrastructure works,” says Pirro. “We have seen a correlation between construction of border infrastructure and the reduction of illegal human and drug traffic […] we expect the new wall in San Diego to have a similar effect.”
The 60-mile-long San Diego sector of the U.S-Mexico border is one of the most active in the nation with its officers arresting more than 26,000 illegal immigrants and seizing about 11,000 pounds of marijuana and 3,000 pounds of cocaine last year alone. Currently, construction is also taking place along the two-mile stretch in Calexico, California and along a 20-mile area in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.