Construction began in southern California Tuesday for eight potential designs for new sections of the U.S. border wall with Mexico, government officials said.
Four prototypes will be built with concrete, and four with "other" materials, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The wall sections will range from six to 10 meters high.
"We are committed to securing our border, and that includes constructing border walls," said Ronald Vitiello, the acting deputy commissioner of the border protection agency. "Our multi-pronged strategy to ensure the safety and security of the American people includes barriers, infrastructure, technology and people."
Construction on 8 wall prototypes began today in San Diego. The prototypes are designed to deter illegal border crossings. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/WB1rIojgLj— CBP (@CustomsBorder) September 26, 2017
The designs are part of President Donald Trump's campaign promise to build a secure barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration. The new wall would be in addition to fencing and other barriers already in place along parts of the two countries' frontier.
Current funding is for prototypes alone. To cover bigger stretches of terrain, Congress will need to approve funding. But allocating additional money for a physical barrier is contentious among lawmakers, who are also weighing other measures, like increasing personnel.