- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 26, 2017

Construction has concluded on the eight prototypes of President Trump’s border wall, the government announced Thursday.

Next up is a round of testing, where officials will see how the designs withstand attempts to climb, tunnel under or break through the walls.

“Border walls have proven to be an extremely effective part of our multi-pronged security strategy to prevent the illegal migration of people and drugs over the years,” said Ron Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the agency that is overseeing the wall project.

He cast the wall as part of a border zone, saying along with more roads, surveillance technology and the like, agents can stop or catch illegal immigrant.

But Mr. Trump has focused more exclusively on the wall, saying the physical barrier itself is the key to solving border problems such as illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Prodded by Mr. Trump, the government asked for new wall designs and selected eight final versions — four concrete and four non-concrete.

Thirty-foot test sections were built along the border in San Diego, where they will be subjected to testing.

Mr. Trump has said he will be personally involved in picking the winners — though CBP officials have said they expect the wall designs and tests to be used to help perfect their wall techniques, rather than to replace them with a brand new design altogether.

Photos of the prototypes show structures stretching some 30 feet into the air. Some of the designs have bollard-style fencing at the bottom, topped by solid wall. Others are solid all the way up.

The leading design used by the Border Patrol currently is 18-foot-high bollard-style fencing. The ability to see through to the other side is considered critical to agents being aware of threats and avoiding ambushes.

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