Sept. 26 (UPI) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday that construction started on prototypes for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Customs and Border Protection has approved eight contracts for the prototypes. Half will be made of concrete and another four will be made of other materials — but all will be between 18 feet and 30 feet high, the agency said in a news release Tuesday.
The approved contractors hail from Alabama, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi and Maryland, and bids ranged from $300,000 to $500,000, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Construction is taking place in San Diego, the agency said.
“We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls. Our multi-pronged strategy to ensure the safety and security of the American people includes barriers, infrastructure, technology and people,” Ronald Vitiello, the agency’s acting deputy commissioner, said in the release. “Moving forward with the prototypes enables us to continue to incorporate all the tools necessary to secure our border.”
Police expect protests in San Diego and officials have set up a free speech area for demonstrators about a mile and a half from the construction site.
The border wall was a central part of Trump’s presidential election campaign. He signed an executive order to start construction on the wall within a month of taking office, but the proposal has anemic support among congressional Republicans.
A recent USA Today poll of all members of Congress found that 69 of 292 GOP lawmakers said they would back devoting $1.6 billion to start building the wall.