Homeland Security to begin building border wall prototypes this summer

by WorldTribune Staff, June 28, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it will build four to eight border wall prototypes this summer in San Diego.

Rendering of precast border wall that incorporates solar panels into a 24-foot-tall design. / Gleason Partners LLC via AP

Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner at Customs and Border Protection, said the prototypes will be used to evaluate what kind of barrier is most effective in combating drug and human smuggling.

“We own that land, have access to it and it’s a good place to start testing in a real-world environment,” Vitiello said at a news briefing on June 27.

Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 includes $1.6 billion for 74 miles of wall in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and San Diego. There are currently 654 miles of fencing.

Related: ‘They don’t even try’: Hungary’s new border fence called ‘spectacular success’, May 2, 2017

Immigration officials are using $20 million from other programs to pay for the prototypes. The Republican-controlled Congress did not provide new money for a border wall in a spending bill it passed in May, instead giving money for technology at the border.

Earlier this month, Trump mentioned building the wall with solar panels.

“Think of it,” Trump told a crowd at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “The higher it goes, the more valuable it is. Pretty good imagination, right?”

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