If President Donald Trump really wants a wall, he should probably talk to wall expert Amy Patrick first, because she just put her expertise to good use by demolishing it.
Trump has been calling for building a wall along the entire 1,954 mile southern border for over two years now, and is currently demanding $5 billion in wall funding from Congress, even going so far as to shut down the government because he isn’t getting his way.
Not only will the wall be expensive, it would be an environmental catastrophe that does not work to stop illegal immigration or drugs from crossing into the United States.
Lawmakers have tried to explain to Trump that his wall is a waste of time, but now we have a literal wall expert to explain it.
In an amazing Facebook post that has gone viral since it was originally published on Tuesday, Patrick begins by listing her impressive credentials.
“I’m a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high-performance projects, and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors weren’t properly accounted for, and I’m an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown,” she wrote. “I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.”
Daubert refers to a standard rule of evidence assessing the admissibility of expert testimony. In short, Patrick is legit since she passed the high standard.
“Am I a wall expert? I am. I am literally a court-accepted expert on walls,” she continued.
First, she examined the wall structure and design:
“Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. Trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors, not engineers. This means it’s not been designed by professionals. It’s a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.”
Well, that’s strike one on Trump’s wall.
Then Patrick lists the potential disasters the wall would cause:
“Off the top of my head…
1) It will mess with our ability to drain land in flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go (doesn’t matter if there are holes in the wall or whatever) is going to dramatically increase the risk of flooding.
2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. They’re either planning to circumvent all this, or they haven’t accounted for it yet, because that’s part of the design process, and this thing hasn’t been designed.
3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or don’t actually do the job.”
Indeed, landowners would already have to face surrendering parts of their land to accommodate Trump’s wall. But they would face severe flooding on the rest of their land once it is built.
That’s strike two.
There’s also the cost of Trump’s wall, which Patrick estimates will cost at least $50 billion or more, over ten times what Trump is demanding, which means more government shutdowns in the future to demand further funds. And Trump won’t even be around to see it get completed:
“It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign… It’s going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with near CONSTANT change orders. “Cost overrun” will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in Trump’s lifetime.
“I’m a structural forensicist, which means I’m called in when things go wrong. This is a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just *obliterated*. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed, because there aren’t that many forensicists out there to right the ship, particularly not that are willing to work on a border wall project— a large quotient of us are immigrants, and besides, we can’t afford to bid on jobs that are this political. We’re small firms, and we’re already busy, and we don’t gamble our reputations on political footballs. So you’d end up with a revolving door of contractors making a giant, uncoordinated muddle of things, and it’d generally be a mess. Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me.”
The GAO is the Government Accountability Office. By the way, that’s strike three.
While we don’t really need a strike four at this point, Patrick concluded by explaining how useless the wall would be and why it would be cheaper and more effective to just pass funding to hire more border patrol and provide them with proper technology. You know, what House Democrats have already been offering.
“And it won’t be effective. I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and weld a cheap custom saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it. I don’t know who they talked to about the wall design and its efficacy, but it sure as heck wasn’t anybody with any engineering imagination.
“Another thing: we are not far from the day where inexpensive drones will be able to pick up and carry someone. This will happen in the next ten years, and it’s folly to think that the coyotes who ferry people over the border won’t purchase or create them. They’re low enough, quiet enough, and small enough to quickly zip people over any wall we could build undetected with our current monitoring setup.
“Let’s have border security, by all means, but let’s be smart about it. This is not smart. It’s not effective. It’s NOT cheap. The returns will be diminishing as technology advances, too. This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money.”
Here’s the full post via Facebook:
And she’s right. Illegal immigrants are already entering the United States by alternative means such as by boat or plane. They can also tunnel under or even break through.
A wall, no matter what material it is made of, is just not a practical or effective solution to deal with our nation’s immigration issues. All one has to do is talk to experts like Patrick to understand that.
Clearly, Trump has struck out and this damning expert assessment should force him to retreat from the wall.
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