Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall between the United States and Mexico may not be a reality yet, but that’s not stopping tons of companies from eagerly lining up to try to build it.
Scores of architectural firms and design studios have reportedly submitted proposals for the approximately 2,000-mile-long wall. The Trump administration has not officially commented on the number of proposals it received, but the San Diego Union-Tribune claims that up to 450 companies had sent in their ideas before this Tuesday’s submission deadline.
The Department of Homeland Security’s original request for proposals stated that any design submitted must be able to withstand an hour-long assault by pick-axes and sledgehammers, and should be “aesthetically pleasing” along the American side. Beyond those, and similar tactical parameters, however, different design firms have reportedly submitted a wide spectrum of proposals.
Las Vegas-based Gleason Partners proposed studding the wall with an array of solar panels, which could both power the structure’s cameras and sensors, as well as help fund its construction through the sale of electricity—including to Mexico.
“I like the wall to be able to pay for itself,” Thomas Gleason, a managing partner at the company, told NBC. (In fact, it’s estimated that Trump’s wall will actually cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, despite the president’s longstanding claims that Mexico will ultimately foot the bill).
Michael Hari, of Illinois’ Crisis Resolution Security Services Inc. of Clarence, the state has proposed a wall that would be nearly double the DHS’ minimum height requirements, and would be built as both an immigration deterrent and tourist attraction, featuring a seven-meter walkway along the top. It’s perfect for anyone interested in a scenic stroll along a monument to hatred of foreigners.
According to the Union-Tribune, a submission from Austin, TX’s Black Security Products LLC includes a four-inch space along the wall’s bottom, allowing small animals to effortlessly do what actual human beings could not—cross the border unmolested.
Of all the submissions, though, perhaps none is quite as eyebrow-raising (and then eyebrow-falling-out) as Pennsylvania-based Clayton Industries’s proposal to store nuclear waste in 100 foot trenches along the wall. The AP reports the wall would also include “an option for hardware to convert the nuclear waste to energy,” for those interested in an atomic-powered deterrent for immigration.
At least one proposal suggests an entirely different form of border: One in which the division between the U.S. and Mexico is erased entirely, and supplanted with what designers call the “Otra Nation”—a sort of co-operative, eco-friendly shared space inhabited by both Mexicans and Americans.
Not everyone has made their designs public, however. As the Union-Tribune notes, many of the firms have chosen to keep their proposals secret from the public—and their corporate competitors.
According to the AP, the Department of Homeland Security will take these, and other such proposals, and winnow down the group to a small number of finalist firms, each of whom will be required to build a quarter-mile prototype of their design.
Ultimately, though, just one lucky firm will have the chance to be enshrined in history as the firm that collaborated with Donald Trump on his border wall. Who could resist such an honor?