Border Wall Prototypes Are Unveiled, but Trump’s Vision Still Faces Obstacles

The Department of Homeland Security unveiled several border wall prototypes here on Thursday that the agency said was the first step in carrying out President Trump’s plan to build a barrier along the nearly 2,000-mile border that the United States shares with Mexico.

Agency officials said they would test the mock-ups over the next few months to determine which worked best in curbing illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

“The prototypes are vitally important to the future of border security,” said Ronald D. Vitiello, the acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol. Mr. Vitiello said the walls were central to the agency’s efforts to secure the border.

As Mr. Vitiello spoke alongside the prototypes, erected near existing fencing along the border in San Diego, a few Mexican police officers stood on the other side, watching. Before he spoke, Mr. Vitiello walked over and shook their hands.

Despite the fanfare, the prototypes are still far from the “physically imposing” and “aesthetically pleasing” border wall that Mr. Trump promised during his campaign and ordered built shortly after assuming office. For now, Mr. Trump’s vision remains largely aspirational.

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