Yesterday, the prototypes for the U.S south border were erected and they are ready for the durability tests against pickaxes, power tools and sledgehammers.

The border wall was a main point in the campaign of the now 45th president of the United States Donald Trump, who sees it as a panacea to the illegal immigration problem of the U.S.

There is one problem though: a wall will not work. Or to be more accurate, for the amount of money and resources put into such a project, the return of investment will be very low.

This is not to advocate unchecked immigration, but here we examine a piece of infrastructure that will cost the US taxpayer billions to be built and billions to be maintained, and the question is, is it worth it?

Before we get into the utility of such a structure, let’s put into perspective just how complicated the endeavor itself actually is.

Acquiring the land is no small feat in and of itself: federal land, state-owned land, private land, tribal land, and even border cities: the wall must pass through all of them. For private and tribal lands the issue is obvious, some will simply refuse to move and legal battles are sure to follow. State owned lands are no smaller problem, and even federal owned ones are no sure bet, not for their availability, as they fall under land management laws that must be followed. In one case, border patrol had to wait for eight months for permission to install a single motion sensor.

That is just one issue. Water rights treaties with Mexico and the existing fencing that turns into a dam after heavy downpours causing floods, are other matters for consideration. If fencing can be clogged with debris and become a dam, imagine how a solid wall will act.

However as with any barrier, the main question is, will it stop people?