The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin building prototypes for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border this summer, authorities said on Tuesday, The Hill reports.
Officials said at a news briefing that the department is ready to begin testing designs on land that is already owned by the government, as four to eight designs will be built and tested, without stating when the process would actually begin.
“We own that land, have access to it and it’s a good place to start testing in a real-world environment,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello said.
Funding for Trump’s border wall was not included in the budget submitted by the White House for fiscal year 2018, but DHS has allocated $20 million from other programs to pay for the prototypes.
Officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection told The Washington Post that they have received “hundreds” of designs for the border wall, but the agency has yet to choose vendors.
Designs for the wall should be at least 18 feet high and have features to prevent climbing over and tunneling beneath the structure, and vendors are instructed to make the designs “aesthetically pleasing” on the U.S. side.