The federal agency charged with beefing up the nation’s southern border has released preliminary guidelines for the border wall promised by President Trump during his campaign trail. The 30 feet wall has to be difficult to climb and cut through, and has to “look good” from the United States, according to contract notices posted to a government website.
The Department of Homeland Security released a one-page description of what they believe the border wall should look like, in accordance with federal bidding practices. Companies submitting proposals should be prepared to explain exactly how their plan fits with the DHS’s.
The wall must be around 30 feet high (but no shorter than 18 feet), and should “look imposing” to potential border jumpers, as well as be anchored at least six feet underground. It can be concrete, but it doesn’t have to be. The only requirement as far as aesthetics is that it looks “tasteful” from the American side.
There’s no indication that it must look similarly pleasing from the Mexican side. It’s also not clear if they realize that Home Depot sells 32-foot ladders for the truly ambitious.
They do know how much it costs, though. The White House budget released last Thursday allocates more than a billion dollars to the project, which they say will run along all 2,000 miles of the US-Mexican border (including mountainous terrain and through bodies of water). And they also know they’re serious: Ranchers in Texas say they’ve started to receive condemnation notices alerting them that the government plans to take portions of their land to construct the border wall. They’re not offering top dollar—around $2,500 per acre—but from Donald Trump, eminent domain use was, no doubt, expected.