U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue contracts to companies this summer to begin building prototypes for President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexico border.
According to Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, four to eight companies will receive contracts to construct prototypes in San Diego that could be models for the approximately 2,000-mile border wall. Once the companies receive their contracts, they will have 30 days to complete their prototypes.
Vitiello said the wall will be constructed where it is necessary along the Mexico border, and that it is impractical to include approximately 130 miles of border which feature natural barriers such as lakes or canyons.
The president’s proposed budget for 2018 includes $1.6 billion to construct 74 miles of wall in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and in San Diego, California. Fencing already exists along 654 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
At a recent rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump mentioned including solar panels in the design of the border wall.
“Think of it,” Trump said. “The higher it goes, the more valuable it is. Pretty good imagination, right?”
Some of Trump’s supporters have criticized him for what they view as a lack of focus on the construction of the wall—one of his key campaign promises. Work on the wall has not yet begun and Congress appears reticent to fund the project. Even so, the White House contends that plans for the wall are on track.
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