Wall issues no one in government has apparently considered

dockside_gw

This licensed structural and civil engineer has written her views, from a structural and engineering perspective, about the problems that have apparently not been considered in construction of a 2000 mile wall along the southern border. In other words, there are issues that will make it very difficult to construct and that these issues, if resolved, will drastically increase the cost of such a wall. Every MOC should read it. And someone should read it to Trump, altho' after about 2 pages, I am sure he will zone out. It's not as easy as Trump's followers think.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Lets not have naysaying experts dictate what we do. that would only make sense and we cant have that. Trump needs a wall for heaven sakes. He promised the American people a wall.

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momj47(7A)

Wait, doesn't Trump know more about structural engineering than anyone?


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Fárbauti

How did they ever manage to build the hundreds of miles of wall we already have in place.


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chase_gw

Where's Trump plan on how to do the wall ? Where to do the wall ?

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momj47(7A)

And then there's the problem of taking the land for it's owners who aren't going to give it up without a fight

Texas landowners dig in on private-property rights as Trump visits border

The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month. Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.

“You could give me a trillion dollars, and I wouldn’t take it,” said Cavazos, whose land sits along the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. “It’s not about money.”

Legal experts say Trump likely cannot waive eminent domain — which requires the government to demonstrate a public use for the land and provide landowners with compensation — by declaring a national emergency.

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momj47(7A)

There is always a naysaying expert to pay off.

Is that how the 'Pubs do things?

Or is that just how your Mr. Trump does things

He hasn't been too successful, has he? Four bankruptcies? Failed businesses?

Why aren't the 'Pubs paying off the Republican "lawmakers" who won't vote for the wall?

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GOD

the right despises the educated.

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jerzeegirl(9b)

The irony about this wall is that it flies in the face of so many republican principles. The party is prostituting itself for something that is against what they believe in.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Clueless.



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GOD

good link, Son of Odin!

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nickel_kg(6)

One of the reasons I'm not dead set against giving some small amount of money for a wall*, is that I don't think this administration is capable of enacting contracts to build a wall of any significance.

*"wall" being a solid barrier as Trump campaigned on; not a fence, not other more reasonable and modern security measures

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

For anyone who lives near the border (me) and has taken a gander at the rough hilly and rocky terrain, the idea of a Trumpian wall is utterly ridiculous, would be incredibly expensive to build and maintain, and would do nothing to halt illegal immigration (which is, by the way, at an all-time low). The whole idea is absolutely and completely insane!!!!!

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jerzeegirl(9b)

Ronald Reagan, the republicans' dream president, said the following in his farewell address:

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind swept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace - a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.


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jerzeegirl(9b)

Eminent doman


The 2016 Republican Party Platform contains a section titled "The Fifth Amendment: Protecting Private Property." In it, the Republican Platform denounces the Supreme Court's 2005 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London for undermining the Fifth Amendment "by allowing local governments to seize a person's home or land not only for vital public use, but also for 'public purpose,' which thus allowed the government to seize it for transfer to private developers or other private entities." The platform then goes on to praise various state and federal lawmakers who have proposed or enacted various pieces of anti-Kelo legislation.

I wonder if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has had the opportunity to read this section of the platform on which he is ostensibly running for president. After all, unlike the Republican Party Platform, Donald Trump happens to be a huge admirer of the Supreme Court's Kelo decision. Indeed, Trump has repeatedly praised Kelo as "wonderful" and made it quite clear that he thinks the Court got it right.

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Joaniepoanie

I don't get the obsession with a wall. Border security....yes! But modern technology security, more personnel.....even though we have the fewest crossings in decades now.

Would Trump supporters build a 20' foot wall around their home or buy a security system, given the choice? Who would choose a cost-prohibitive wall that can be sawed through, hopped over, or tunneled under?

This is about everything but a wall.....take your pick.....deflect from Mueller, no woman (Pelosi) is gonna show up Trump, hanging onto his base for re-election, winning......fill in the blank.

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jillinnj

The obsession with the wall is simple.

The racist President declares that his wall will keep "others" out and away from them. The base is not the smartest group of folks, and hearing that those "others" will be kept away is music to their ears. It's what they've been wanting to hear all their lives. And they finally got someone who says it. Who repeats it continuously. The logistics, feasibility, cost do not matter to them (back to that smart thing). They finally have someone speaking their language and they will support him forever. No matter what.

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patriciae_gw(07)

The miracle being you continue to support this excuse for a president Margie.

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patriciae_gw(07)

No Margie you are not, as in misery loves company.

I thought you supported him because so many people opposed him. What happened to that?

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subtropix

The so-called "Right Wing" of this country is jus' f'n R-E-T-A-R-D-E-D! Sorry, nothin' 'bout "right wing" or "conservative" here..., RETARTED..., IGNORANT! THERE REALLY IS A DIFFERENCE IN MOST SANE COUNTRIES, BUT NOT HERE!

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Linda

The border areas left unfenced (unwalled?) include areas that are the most difficult to put such barriers on. Very difficult terrains such as the OP mentioned. There are very environmentally sensitive parks and the Butterfly Center in South Texas that shouldn't be ruined by construction. Also the most challenging areas to actually obtain the land from the owners. Many already have lawyered up and some tend to be very angry people. I don't blame them. We certainly can't afford this mess, especially with a recession looming and a sky-high deficit. And then I wonder...is this shutdown and attempted money grab by this sick narcissistic orange manchild all just because he's worried that his deepest, darkest secrets might be revealed by the Mueller investigation? Twisted selfish people have done worse than that to shield their egos and hide their secrets!

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Joaniepoanie

Margie.....so Jill gives an explanation as to why Trump supporters are so obsessed with a wall, which is based on race and racism, and that Trump supporters have waited their whole lives to have a president say what they feel and think.....and your retort is "the miracle continues" meme.

Therefore, you're not refuting the reason you support Trump and the wall is based on racism?

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jillinnj

Joanie - when you can't argue a point with words and facts, you resort to pictures. Even when the picture is nonsensical. But, when it's all you have at your disposal, that's what you do.

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Joaniepoanie

Margie....I wouldn't pretend to have any idea of what's in your mind. No one could....lol.

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adoptedbyhounds

"The irony about this wall is that it flies in the face of so many republican principles."

Nonsense.

No American deserves to die at the hands of an illegal alien, no matter how loudly liberal Democrats dismiss those deaths as mere "tragedies" for which they bear no responsibility.

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catspat(aka)

But how does that excuse not designing a wall that's actually build-able where it needs to be built? Having worked on a few big infrastructure projects myself, involving major national contractors, I can say that any design issues do end up being huge headaches and expensive. Major contractors don't really plan on making money on their original low bid, anyway, from what I've seen, but on change orders, which will flow fast and furious if there are any quirks, or even missing commas, whatsoever, in the project documents. They have whole departments of people going over the specs with fine-tooth combs looking for loopholes and reasons to charge more. Always made me glad I was just one of the troops (field biologist) and only an observer, not the compliance manager or higher up who had to deal with them.


Just trying to match those prototypes with the types of terrain some of them would have to be built over boggles the brain.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Was this posted by someone here previously? I just read it this morning, after having saved the page some days ago. It's originally from May of 2017 and also contains detailed descriptions of present barriers:

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-wall-wont-work

Excerpt:

"...The Unintended Consequences
The numbers from this period also suggest that counting “reduced crossings” as a victory may be misleading. As the amount of fencing and the number of agents grew, the share of unauthorized immigrants entering illegally fell, but the number entering legally (and then staying illegally) rose.

In 2006, the Pew Research Center calculated that more than a third of all unauthorized immigrants entered lawfully and then simply overstayed their visas. People who come to the U.S. as tourists or temporary business travelers are forbidden from working, so a small number remain after their visa expires to work under the table. For every three border crossers in 1992, there was one overstay. But by 2012, visa overstays accounted for 58 percent of all new unauthorized immigrants. A wall not only will do nothing to stop these people from entering, but it may actually incentivize more people to stick around without authorization.

Using reduced border crossings as the standard of success also obscures the wall’s effect on the total population of undocumented residents in the country.

Until the first fence was built in 1990, workers could circulate freely across the border, coming to harvest crops during the summer and then returning home in the winter. They crossed with a goal of bettering their lives south of the border. The 1980s had more total crossings than the 1990s, but because as many people left each year as arrived, the total number of unauthorized immigrants remained roughly constant at about 3 million. The true measure of of a barrier’s efficacy should be not the gross flow but the net flow, taking into account both entries and exits.

Increased enforcement in the 1990s raised the cost to cross the border, which obviously prevented some migrants from crossing at the margin. In fact, the cost of a single border crossing exploded from $500 in 1995 to $3,000 in 2009. Increasing the price of illegal activity is law enforcement’s main measurement of success. The Drug Enforcement Administration would be thrilled to claim it had driven up illicit drug prices 600 percent in a decade and a half.

But this strategy backfired. The increased costs and risks disincentivized people from returning home. In 1996, just as the secondary fencing was going up in San Diego, a majority of new unauthorized entrants left within one year, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania sociologist Douglas Massey. By 2009-with three times as many agents, 650 miles of barriers, and constant surveillance along the border-an illegal immigrant’s likelihood of leaving within one year had dropped to a statistically insignificant level. Border security had essentially trapped them in...."

And there are illustrations too :


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dockside_gw

carolb - the article you refer to was written by someone at the Cato Institute writing about the historical issues and problems with constructing a wall along a border. The one I posted was written by a "wall expert" - a person who has testified as an expert witness about the engineering aspects of building walls and who has a scientific opinion of the difficulties that will be encountered.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

I think both pieces together provide many convincing points against this proposition of the president's. If you read the Cato article, it is quite lengthy and covers various details about the barriers that have been used and their effectiveness, along with the hazards and failures, potential and historical.

Interestingly, and as an aside, if UH = Univ. of Houston, I could not find "Amy" Patrick's name in the faculty listings for their downtown campus. There is an "Amelia" Patrick listed under adjunct faculty. Perhaps that is her nickname. I find it slightly curious.

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ann_t

"He promised the American people a wall."

No, he promised his followers. Most American's don't want the wall. He doesn't represent all Americans. He has made that clear.


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

To be fair, he may have been promising his beautiful wall to America as a whole, whether America as a whole wants it or not...

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patriciae_gw(07)

Great post Carolb on unintended consequences. Since we started walling the latino population around here has skyrocketed. I

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has some (IMO) quite savvy words about the issue as well. I shared them on the thread about her, but thought they were also quite appropriate to this topic:

“Please allow me to frame the issues involved with "the wall" in its actual terms. Despite what the media is saying, this is not about Democrat vs. Republican. In short, the executive branch of our government is threatening to declare a national emergency since the legislative branch will not authorize the seizure of private American property for a federal works project nor will fund it. The executive branch has already shut down the federal government. It is currently threatening to extend this government shut down for however long it takes for the legislative branch to cave.

Let us break this down.

First of all, the framework of our government is based on checks and balances. Power is divided into three branches: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. The Legislative branch controls the purse strings of government and creates laws. The Executive branch carries out those laws. The Judicial branch tells us whether the laws are constitutional or not. Each branch was designed to be able to balance the other branches.

Why? As shown by our original rebellion, Americans didn't want a King or a Dictator when we were setting up our government. We were not particularly thrilled with a House of Lords telling us what we could or could not do either.

In this case, the executive branch wants to:
(1) take governmental cash,
(2) create its own law,
(3) take away private property from American citizens
(4) create its own federal works project.

At least three of these functions fall within the power/ responsibility of the legislative branch. So, what is the problem? This is one of the most naked power grabs by the executive branch over the others in recent history. Once that power is exercised, it is going to be difficult or impossible to regain any balance again. The executive branch was never meant to have that much power (see our country's previous concerns about Kings and Dictators). Is this constitutional? Very doubtful. Should all Americans be concerned? That is a question for you to answer yourself.

Second, a "National Emergency" is generally declared under these general conditions:
(1) Natural disasters including hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes to name a few.
(2) Public health emergencies such as significant outbreaks of infectious diseases.
(3) Military attacks.
(4) Civil insurrection.
(5) Any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy.

Now the first 4 aren't applicable. The last category was meant to be short-term only. It was designed to be reviewed by the legislative branch every year after it’s enacted (because again; the check and balance is fundamental to how we operate).

So, what is the problem here? If national emergencies can be declared by the executive branch for non-emergency purposes which vest power in one branch of the government why would that branch ever let go of that power again?

Third, the seizure of private property (known as “eminent domain”, a body of law which says the government cannot just take your home without due process). You are joking, right? No. The US/Mexican border is 1,933 miles long. It runs through 4 states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas). Only 33% of that land is actually owned or managed by the Federal Government. A sizable percentage of that land is owned by the Indian nations. It is land preserved for those tribes by treaty and land given under treaty is not land owned by the United States. These tribes already have a lot of reasons to be angry at the Federal Government. This would be pouring additional gas on an open flame.

The other 64% of that land is privately owned.

How much land would have to be taken? The amount of land that the Federal Government would have to take would likely run 1,237 miles long to 12,371 miles deep (assuming a 1 to 10-mile DMZ from the border into the United States). Even if we could only take 100 to 500 ft of land in densely populated areas, that is a lot of private property that is going to be seized by the Federal government.

The land necessary for this project would also run through some highly populated areas in the US such as San Diego, Calexico, Nogales, El Paso, and Laredo. There will be a lot of Americans who are going to have their homes and businesses taken by the federal government. Which will also mean a lot of lawsuits.

In terms of the federal works project, these types of works include hospitals, bridges, highways, walls and dams. These projects may be funded by local, state, or federal appropriations. If they are federal, they are funded by the legislative branch of our government (the same branch that our executive branch is currently trying to take power from). Is the seizure of power constitutional? Not likely given the separation of powers discussed above.

Finally, these considerations do not take into account the sheer cost, human and monetary, that will be involved. The Department of Homeland Security estimates the current cost at $21 billion for construction alone (not counting costs of maintenance or costs associated with increased military/federal patrolling).

Ask yourself a simple question. When was the last time that you saw a governmental project brought in under time and under budget? Does anyone remember the “big dig” in Boston, Mass? The actual costs are likely to be much higher. This estimated cost also does not include compensating folks for taking their land or the associated impact upon their businesses.

The Federal budget deficit grew to $779 billion dollars in 2018 according to the Treasury Department. How are we, as a country, going to fund this project? How are we, as a country, going to deal with the additional debt? Unlike private businesses, our country cannot declare bankruptcy.

This is not about Democrat vs. Republican. It is not about who has the best zingers measured in 10 second sound bites. It is about our country. The core of this issue deals with the profound and immense changes the outcome will have on the structure of our nation. This is the way that we, as a country, should be framing these issues. Please think about it.”


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez



Seems to me that there are many very good arguments against this likely never-to-be-realized endeavor, which is why I tend to think it is likely never to be realized.

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dockside_gw

Here is Patrick's resume.

It does say that she is an adjunct professor along other professional jobs she has/had.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Thanks, dockside - how'd you find that?

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purrmich_7_

If you've read what trumpsters have said over time you know they are afraid of anything, be it a Dem, a Mexican, ..... whoever is not like the themselves.

Doesn't matter if they're legal citizens - their tolerance for differences is below normal.

These are the people who are clearly panicking right now because they thought they'd always have all of the government to themselves and wouldn't have to share.

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dockside_gw

carol b - I think I typed in her name and googled it.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

One more thing knocking down the false narrative being used by this administration- and its cronies: traffickers @ the ongoing El Chapo trial say that drugs are not being brought in through open sections of our southern border...

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/01/12/us/drug-traffickers-el-chapo-trial-drugs-across-border/index.html

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Kathy

How much land would have to be taken? The amount of land that the Federal Government would have to take would likely run 1,237 miles long to 12,371 miles deep (assuming a 1 to 10-mile DMZ from the border into the United States). Even if we could only take 100 to 500 ft of land in densely populated areas, that is a lot of private property that is going to be seized by the Federal government.

Whew! That’s a lot of land.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

As time goes on, it becomes more and more clear this 'beautiful wall' is a boondoggle, and a stalking horse for the guy in the White House.

P.S. I just noticed my link to the Cato article is not working properly, but the 'page not found' it now takes me to has the link as its first suggestion. Alternately, you can copy/paste in a new window and that worked for me as well.

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