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Trump’s border wall prototypes are about to be demolished

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Eight prototypes that have served for more than a year as the embodiment of President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall will soon be demolished, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The agency told NBC News on Friday that money has already been allocated for the prototypes to be taken down from their spots just outside San Diego, California, and that another border barrier will be constructed in that area instead.

“There is money already allocated to either take them down or build infrastructure around them. But the decision has been made at the national level to take them down, and the secondary replacement project will take their place,” Border Patrol Agent Theron Francisco told NBC.

In October 2017, the agency unveiled eight different versions of a wall that could ostensibly serve as the wall Trump has promised since the early days of his presidential campaign.

Read more:Trump visited his border wall prototypes for the first time — and the photos are great

Federal agents stand watch over Trump’s eight border wall prototypes as they near completion along US- Mexico border near San Diego, California on October 23, 2017.
Reuters/Mike Blake

Four of the prototypes were made of concrete, and four were made of other materials, such as steel. Each 30-foot-high prototype cost between $300,000 and $500,000 to construct, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

After undergoing weeks of breaching and scaling attempts, tactical teams discovered at least one major vulnerability: at least one of the prototypes could be cut through with a saw.

Though it’s unclear when the prototypes will be taken down, a CBP spokesman told the newspaper that it was always the government’s plan to demolish them.


”They just don’t serve a purpose anymore, the spokesman told the Union-Tribune.

It’s also unclear what type of barrier will replace them — but it appears that none of the prototype designs will be put to use anytime soon.

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he reviews border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018, in San Diego.
Associated Press/Evan Vucci

In a spending bill that Trump signed earlier this month, Congress authorized $1.375 billion for 55 miles of steel border barriers. But it stipulated that only “existing technologies” could be used for the barriers, so none of the prototypes would qualify.

In response to the paltry funding, which fell far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded, Trump declared a national emergency in an effort to bypass Congress to secure enough funding.

That effort is being challenged in both Congress and the courts, with a growing number of Republicans vocally opposing the move, and a slew of lawsuits challenging Trump’s authority to declare an emergency over the issue.

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