VP Mike Pence Visits Calexico Border

In Calexico, two miles of a 30-foot border fence will replace two miles of pedestrian barrier

Vice President Mike Pence inspected construction of the border fence in Calexico Monday.

The vice president first visited the El Centro Border Station control center and met with agents. He thanked them for their hard work in securing the country.

Construction began last month in San Diego to replace 14 miles of an outdated steel plate barrier with a structure made out of hollow steel beams filled with concrete and steel rods. DHS said the new structure will give agents visibility into Mexico.

In Calexico, two miles of a 30-foot border fence will replace two miles of pedestrian barrier. The area for the construction is west of the Calexico Port of Entry beyond a nearby outlet mall shopping center. Construction should be completed by October 2018.

Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence deboarded Air Force Two in El Centro, California at about 10:30 a.m. Monday. 

The construction site was visited by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in mid-April. Nielsen called the construction of the replacement fence as one of the highest priorities to improve border security in the region.

"We will work with the National Guard until we can look each other in the eyes and say we have operational control of the border," Nielsen said. "We need additional funding. We need the wall system."

The construction is not part of the design standard that will be developed from a prototype project underway near the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The eight prototypes that stand about 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide are made from a variety of materials. The CBP has not yet said which prototype will be used for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall. 

President Trump visited the prototypes in March, touting them as a way to stop "99 percent, maybe more" of border crossings. 

The vice president is scheduled to tour a NASA propulsion laboratory in Pasadena – one week before NASA’s next mission to Mars.

On Sunday, Pence headlined a $10,000 per couple fundraiser in Malibu. Monday afternoon, he will be back in LA for a roundtable discussion at an undisclosed location in Beverly Hills.

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