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Federal officials view border wall prototypes in San Diego

Posted at 7:01 AM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 20:40:55-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Federal officials visited San Diego Thursday to view the completed border wall prototypes.

U.S. Border Patrol acting Deputy Commissioner Ron Vitiello was among the officials who got a first-hand look at the eight finished products in Otay Mesa Thursday morning. The federal government will have up to 60 days to evaluate the prototypes.

"We've seen some unique features here. We haven't used, in the Border Patrol, significant concrete outside of south Texas to build a wall, so this is a change from what's in the toolkit now. So we'll just see which of these features do the best in the evaluation and then we'll look at the other challenges including what the operators need the most," Vitiello said.

RELATED: Border wall prototype construction wrapping up

Vitiello said there were 31,000 arrests made at the border in 2016 due to illegal trespassing. He added that security needs at the border are at an all-time high.

Each wall will undergo a series of tests during the evaluation process, with some of the testing criteria outlined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials -- such as how easy/difficult it is to climb or scale the walls, if people can tunnel underneath or break through them.

Aesthetics will also be a part of the evaluation, 10News learned.

Over a 30-day period, six companies built the eight 30-foot-tall walls using different materials.

RELATED: Samples show what President Trump's border wall might look like

While President Trump has expressed interest in viewing the wall prototypes, White House officials have not said if or when he would visit San Diego.