US mulls floating wall to deter swimming migrants

The US Army Cops of Engineers has issued a request for information for a floating barrier for the southern border of the US.

The request for information, posted online, specifies a Buoy Barrier System that would stop people from swimming or floating to the US from Mexico, and would also have an anchoring system able to withstand up to 25 tonnes.

It would also allow border guards to spot attempted breaches, and would be deployable in static pools, rivers, lakes and the ocean.

The Washington Post, which first reported the story, notes the Rio Grande makes up about two-thirds of the 3,200km boundary with Mexico, and migrants and smuggling guides "often paddle through dangerous currents using cheap inflatable rafts and flotation devices, often at grave risk".

The deadline for applications has now been reached, and the Corps states that the post is a market survey for information only, not a solicitation for proposals, and that no contracts will be awarded from information given.

The US Customs and Border Protection says 442km of the border wall has been built so far.

Image: The US border wall meeting the Pacific in California (Dreamstime/Photos 537)

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