It is 9:15 am, and Ralph DeSio of all US customs and border protection (CBP) is standing in the front of a tour bus filled with supporters, pointing out noteworthy features of this fencing that divides the United States out of Mexico.
Furthest south is your 10ft fence -- a construction of rusted steel. About 100 meters north would be your secondary weapon, 18ft of steel net inserted from the 1990s to make an "enforcement zone" between the two fences.
The scene feels somewhat like the movie Jurassic Park: a guide clarifies how the weapon will keep sightseers protected from terrors. This fence was made to keep people out, not resurrected dinosaurs.
The bus goes east out of the Otay Mesa border where eight brand new edifices -- 30ft wide and 30ft tall -- appear from the desert such as a postmodern art exhibition.
All these are prototypes for Donald Trump's "large, beautiful wall": eight layouts chosen by CBP from hundreds of entrants at a bidding procedure that started in March. Builders had to assemble the prototypes and, in November, the steel and cement edifices will be analyzed to determine how they hold up against efforts tunnel beneath, to climb over, or celebration through them.
Now, according to the Trump effort storyline, a winner could be chosen, and the procedure for erecting the selected design around the United States' 2000-mile southern boundary would start, at an estimated price of $21bn. However, the CBP agents ferrying photographers and TV crews were noncommittal about the possibility of the bidding process resulting in a prize.
"Finally, the winner would be that the US authorities," explained Roy Villareal, leader of the San Diego border patrol sector. The procedure has provided ideas for border infrastructure to the authorities, he explained, so the bureau can utilize aspects of their layouts as it repairs and simplifies existing fencing, even if Congress doesn't approve funds for the walls.
"Regardless of whether the boundary wall is financed," he stated, "there's always financing for upkeep."
Villareal demurred from choosing a favorite of those eight, stating that he'd await the testing. However, DeSio commended the easternmost version -- a strong concrete construction with terracotta coloring along with a slightly tapered profile -- as "svelte" and something that he would not mind having surrounding his backyard. However, DeSio remarked that the wall alone is no panacea: "You can not simply lay a wall out there and say, 'That is it. '''
Another CBP representative, Jason Bush, stated that he would prioritize spending money, and agreed. "When the wall is there, and somebody receives over and is working me over," he stated, "the walls are not likely to reach down and help me."
The boundary wall is extremely contentious, and the bidding procedure was politically fraught, with leading worldwide builders eschewing the chance and lots of local and state authorities suggesting blacklists of businesses involved. But expected protests in the building site never materialized, together with neighborhood immigrant-rights activists opting to greet the practice with what San Diego photographer Maria Teresa Fernandez knew as "the sound of silence."
Fernandez was documenting the boundary fencing since 2000, and she predicted the new versions "a sign of weakness." The prototype website is closed to the general public, however easy to look at from south of the main wall, in Tijuana's Rancho Escondido area, where she's climbed up a small hill of debris and dirt to check within the corrugated steel fencing and monitor the building of the prototypes day daily.
She thinks for a living being of this wall, one which she has been in a relationship with for 17 decades. "It had been born, it is growing, it is repeating, it affects, and I expect it'll die someday," she explained. "I want with all my heart to have the ability to live long enough to see it perish.
"It is difficult to consider this, but all of us have dreams."
Residents of this neighborhood that was impoverished thought. Guillermina Fernandez that sells plants out of her neat house complained that sound in the building started early in the morning, but was disinterested. "It does not impact us," she said in Spanish.
Magdalena Palacios, whose overflows with all the automobile parts she salvages in the center that is local, can view the tops of their prototypes. The 57-year-old dwelt in East Los Angeles for 16 decades but moved back after her husband's passing.
"Anywhere, anyway," Palacios said, "individuals will continue to cross."
People echoed that opinion in the section of the boundary, where all of the ways runs. In International Friendship Park, CBP permits people to venture to the "enforcement zone" between the main and secondary fences to get a couple of hours each weekend. There they signature palms -- a valuable chance for families and could talk to loved ones in Tijuana.
Visitors in the park this Sunday had a small curiosity about Trump's plan despite being faced with the fact of a steel net divider between themselves and their nearest and dearest. The wall is "dumb," stated Juan Butler, who'd arrived at the playground with her seven-week-old son to present him to his grandfather.
"It is not going to prevent us coming across," stated Luis Alvarado, 38, that comes to the park every Sunday to see with his mommy. "People that need to cross will find a way."
At 1:30 pm as border patrol agents prepare to shut the website for a different week off, a set of pastors direct a ceremony across and through.
The soldier, Guillermo Navarrete, stated that he works hard to convince migrants from Tijuana to not try to cross the boundary but to remain and live and work in the city. "We tell them there is not any American dream anymore," he explained. Regarding Trump, he added: "He's sick. We will need to beg."
The warrior on the side of this fence, John Fanestil, rescued his politics. Reading the Book of Isaiah, he awakened: "And it'll be said: 'Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove from the way of the people. '''
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