Many have criticized the president’s address as one based on lies and racism. The president emphasized the need for a wall along our nation’s southern border, suggesting at one point that it was morally imperative.
“Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes?” he said. “They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 9, 2019
Those claims were debunked ahead of his address by former GOP Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who said that while both human trafficking and drug trafficking exist, they do not amount to the “crisis” the president claims exists.
“I visited the Southwest border in 2010 when I was working for United States Senator George Lemieux of Florida,” he said. “There was a crisis back then. Things at the border have gotten a lot better over the last 12 years. We’re seeing the number of people attempting to cross illegally drop dramatically, so no, I would not characterize this as a crisis.”
Former GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo: No, there's not a crisis at the border pic.twitter.com/ouG53hWWSe
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 8, 2019
As if to underscore the proposed wall’s inefficiency, the president’s border wall prototypes have been found to be vulnerable to security breaches.
Trump inspected border wall prototypes in March 2018, eventually settling on steel bollard fencing, but the results of testing by the Department of Homeland Security in 2017 showed all the prototypes, including the steel slats, were vulnerable to breaching.
A photo of a steel slat prototype exclusively obtained by NBC News proved it could be cut through with a saw. Experts from the Marine Corps were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools.
— Jay Yarow (@jyarow) January 10, 2019
The photograph was not initially included in the internal report and was only released following a Freedom of Information Act Request by KPBS, a public radio station based in San Diego.
The president has maintained that his proposed wall is “critical” for national security. Asked about the photograph above, he claimed “that’s a wall designed by previous administrations.” NBC notes that while “it is true that previous administrations used this design, the prototype was built during his administration.”