The above image provided by Gleason Partners LLC shows a rendering of the side of a border wall concept that faces the U.S. that incorporates solar panels into the design. President Donald Trump wants to add solar panels to his long-promised southern border wall — a plan he says would help pay for the wall’s construction and add to its aesthetic appeal. (Associated Press, Washington Times).

Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 presidential election, one of his biggest promises to the American people was the construction of an enormous wall on the American-Mexican border. While this promise was heavily criticized by the President’s critics, it served as a sort of symbol for Trump supporters, evolving into a sort of memetic reference to the anti-immigration convictions held by American conservatives. During the presidential campaign, it was not uncommon to hear crowds chant, “Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!”

There has been little opposition serious enough to challenge Trump’s staunch agenda to construct the massive barrier, and when former Mexican president Vincent Foxe stated that Mexico would not be financially involved in the wall’s construction, Trump infamously responded“the wall just got 10 feet taller.” On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration signed a Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Executive Order, 13767 to commence extending the already existing border wall. 

On August 31, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security took the first major step on Thursday toward building a barrier on the border with Mexico. Four companies have been commissioned to work towards constructing various prototypes in San Diego, estimated to be approximately 30 feet tall and costing between $400,000 and $500,000 each. 

According to the New York Times, many Democrats have deemed the wall to be unnecessary, with Laura Peterson, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, stating that, “It’s hard to understand the strategic value of this wall in terms of protecting U.S. citizens and illegal activity. C.B.P. didn’t seem to need it before Trump’s executive order.”

With the completion of the prototypes expected to be completed within 30 days, the construction of the full wall could be sooner than one might think. The wall will lend a hand in stopping illegal immigration from Mexico and will put an end to Mexican cartel-related violence and drug abuse in the United States (for more benefits that the wall will bring, read The Wall Will Stop More Than Illegal Immigration by Harry Alford, President of the National Black Chamber of Commerce).