Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2017

Border wall prototypes in place, Mexicans and Americans talk about Trump’s plan

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President Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful” wall is beginning to take shape with the construction of eight 30-foot prototypes in San Diego, driving intriguing reactions along a section of the border lined with homes, parking lots, dumped waste and burned cars.

The border wall prototypes are in Otay Mesa, a small community south of Diego, along an area of Tijuana where a 10-foot corrugated metal wall already exists. Made of concrete, thick metal poles and other materials, the sample sections were completed a few weeks ago.

One wall has a gray surface textured with patterns of different-sized bricks. A steel plate sits atop the wall with metal spikes. The prototypes are the first tangible signs of a controversial pledge that helped Trump get elected.

Some Tijuana residents say they’re symbols of racism. But others who live a few yards from the prototypes seem indifferent to them. After all, they say, a U.S.-Mexico border wall is nothing new here.

Children and teenagers with backpacks walk past the towering prototypes without even looking up. Many who live a little farther away seem unaware of the eight new structures.

“They don’t bother me,” said Cesar Gonzalez, 60, whose house in Tijuana is adjacent to the prototypes. “If Trump wants to shut in his people, well, he should do it. Here, it doesn’t affect me.”

But Gonzalez, a plant salesman, was skeptical of the wall’s impact. “There are going to be people who will cross by boat, airplane, tunnel, submarine,” he said, adding that in the past five years he’s seen a decrease in the number of people crossing the border near his home.

Maria Elena Valenzuela, 40, who was born in San Diego and grew up on both sides of the Tijuana border, had a stronger reaction to the prototypes. “They’re horrible,” she said.

Valenzuela’s grandfather worked for the railroads in the United States. Her father was a guest worker, or bracero, in California. And she worked as a high school teacher and administrator at schools across California.

 

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Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

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