The first steps in building Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful” border wall are being taken this week, as construction crews broke ground on prototype designs for a wall in Otay Mesa, near San Diego. At the same time, House Republicans are finally moving forward in setting aside money for the massive project.
The House Homeland Security Committee will be working on the Border Security for America Act, which would authorize $10 billion in funding for Trump’s border wall and related expenses including fencing, technology, air assets, and other deterrents to those who try to get around it. There would also be an additional $5 billion provided for security at legal ports of entry, add 5,000 border patrol agents, boost air and sea support, and authorize the use of the National Guard along the border.
Meanwhile, construction on prototypes for the wall have begun. According to Fox News,
Construction began on eight wall prototypes for the wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said eight wall prototypes will go up in San Diego. Eight of them will be made of concrete while the others will be made of “other material.”
“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,” said Ronald Vitiello, CBP’s acting deputy commissioner. “Moving forward with the prototypes enables us to continue to incorporate all the tools necessary to secure our border.”
Trump has promised a “big, beautiful wall” to cut down on illegal immigration on the porous border with Mexico. The wall could cost anywhere from $8 to $21 billion to construct.
Despite heavy security from state, local and federal agents expecting large-scale protests, apparently not one protester has been seen so far. The Chicago Tribune reports:
Agent Roy Villareal, the acting chief agent for the Border Patrol in San Diego, said at an afternoon news conference that protests don’t seem imminent. “There is nothing that is indicative that a protest is about to occur,” he said
San Diego police officers and county sheriff’s deputies were out in force at intersections and along streets near the entrance to the construction site. Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents, the Federal Protection Service and California Highway Patrol were also seen in the area.
At last: Progress without accompanying protesters.