A high-ranking Customs and Border Guard (CBP) official on Friday pushed back reports that frontline border officials do not support President Trump's border wall and tell reporters that "walls work" and "agents know it."
Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello told reporters that agents have repeatedly said that a mix of technology, infrastructure and access to the border is necessary to keep the border secure. An important part of this would be effective barriers, and he said such requests came from practice.
"The truth is that walls work and the data shows it and agents know it," he said.
Vitiello told reporters that CBP was grateful for the $ 1
But he also noted that they were given different approaches with different priorities than requested, adding, "It does not quite fund our needs in the most critical places."
He also said that they "still" see a restrictive language in the middle bill and what that means for current projects
He added that money he called a "down payment" was construction and repair in areas how to finance San Diego, Calexico and Santa Theresa, New Mexico. He said the Calexico project started last week.
President Trump disagreed with $ 1.3 trillion omnibus law over lack of funds for border security and investigated the possibility of moving the military to finance the $ 25 billion project
Conservatives noted that the bill limited the approximately 100 miles of new construction work and repairs to already approved models – not the prototypes that were recently seen in California.
While Vitiello noticed that many of the 100 miles were replacement, he said it was a new construction and some parts move from old, often rundown fences to 30-foot steel bollard designs. He said that, for example, in El Paso, a three foot vehicle barrier was replaced by an "18 or 30 foot wall".
What to do, Vitiello said that the entire wall project would cover around 1,000 miles with different wall structures, he believed that $ 25 billion in funding would adequately fund this project. He said that from the tests of the prototypes a new draft standard was formulated that would be used forward. Currently, about 654 miles of the border are covered by a type of fencing or barrier.
Vitiello's comments come a day after Trump touted the early stages of construction in a speech in Richfield, Ohio.
"We started our wall" What a beauty, "said Trump, noting that critics suggested he" give up. "" Did he give up? No, I'll never give up. "
Trump added," We're building this sucker! "
Fox News" Brooke Singman has contributed to this report. "