Members of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team are already inquiring about a border wall, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said Wednesday during a visit to the Rio Grande Valley.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the congressman said Trump’s transition team has reached out to Border Patrol sectors across the country.
“The request has been made already ‘Tell us where you think we ought to have more fencing,’” Cuellar said.
Cuellar fired back against Trump’s proposal for a wall calling it a “14th century solution to a 21st century problem.”
Instead, Cuellar would like to see an increase in manpower and technology such as aerostat surveillance balloons, ground sensors, and camera towers.
Cuellar said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security presented data to him which showed that a virtual wall would be cheaper than a physical wall.
“If you put one mile of technology, it would cost about $1 million per mile. You put one mile of fencing, with construction and maintenance, it would be about $6.5 million,” Cuellar said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection already uses six aerostats in South Texas. The surveillance balloons cost a total of $33 million per year. Cuellar said 100 aerostats would be necessary to cover the entire southwest border.