- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it has awarded contracts for four companies to begin building concrete border wall prototypes, and promised non-concrete designs will be awarded in the next week.

Mr. Trump had proposed a concrete wall during the campaign, breaking with the current designs used by the Border Patrol.

The proposals announced Thursday will run from 18 to 30 feet.

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Prototype construction is expected to begin this fall, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

“The concrete border wall prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs we have used along the border over the last several years,” the agency said in a statement.

The winners of the concrete design contract were Caddell Construction Co. in Montgomery, Alabama, Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. in Tempe, Arizona, Texas Sterling Construction Co. in Houston, and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company in Philadelphia.

There is already enough money to build the prototypes, but Mr. Trump is struggling to win support for actual new wall construction in the 2018 spending bills now pending in Congress.

Democrats have said they will oppose any bill that includes a penny for the wall.

Anti-wall activists, meanwhile, said Mr. Trump’s timing on announcing the wall sent a bad signal coming amid relief efforts in Texas for Hurricane Harvey.

“The wall prototypes will be literal concrete reminders of this administration’s harsh plot to target immigrant families for deportations that would shatter lives and shred the fabric of tight knit border communities,” said Dan Milles, borderlands organizer for the Sierra Club.

“We cannot sacrifice community safety, environmental health or our public lands for a false sense of security that uses debunked myths to fearmonger and ignite hateful actions. Plans for a border wall— including this prep work—and absolutely any funds for its construction must be abandoned.”

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