BREAKING: DHS to Start Building Border Wall Prototypes

BREAKING: DHS to Start Building Border Wall Prototypes

Donald Trump promised during the election that he would build a border wall and there were plenty of detractors that swore it would never actually get built. But it appears that Trump will have the last laugh: the Department of Homeland Security announced it will start building prototypes for the border wall this summer.

Construction will begin in the San Diego area and will be added to existing border walls there. The goal is for the agency to determine which barriers will be most effective in helping Border Patrol stop drug smuggling and human trafficking. Between four and eight prototypes will be built.

“We own that land, have access to it and it’s a good place to start testing in a real-world environment,” Ronald D. Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner at Customs and Border Protection, said. However, Vitiello — as well as DHS Secretary John Kelly — also said that there are no current plans to build a wall along the entire southern border. Vitiello said there are at least 130 miles that could not be used, due to terrain or bodies of water.

In March, Customs and Border Protection issued requests for two proposals, one for a concrete wall, and another for other types of walls. Hundreds of bids have been submitted, but none have been chosen. Designs should make it almost impossible for a person to climb the wall with a ladder, with “anti-climb topping features”, as well as technology that prevents digging or tunneling underneath the wall. It also must be “aesthetically pleasing.”

Currently, the border wall does not have any funding. But the prototypes will be paid for using $20 million allocated from other programs, with the San Diego area and the Rio Grande Valley as top priorities. Earlier this year, Trump pushed for over $3 billion in the 2017 and 2018 budgets to pay for approximately 100 miles of border walls. But both Democrats and Republicans refused, stalling the border wall process.

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