Officials set April date for New Mexico border wall work

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitello speaks during a press briefing March 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. Commissioner Vitello held a press briefing to provide an update on the construction of the wall along the Mexican border.

WASHINGTON — Officials are hoping to break ground on a project replacing 20 miles of border wall in Santa Teresa, New Mexico in early April.

That’s according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello.

Vitiello briefed reporters Friday on how the administration plans to spend the $1.6 billion Congress authorized for border wall construction this year.

It’s much less than the $25 billion Trump wanted. But officials are eager to show they’re nonetheless making progress.

Vitiello says the money will provide for about 100 miles of new and replacement wall, including replacing 14 miles of steel landing mat in densely populated San Diego with a bollard-style wall.

Barriers currently blanket 654 miles of the 1,954-mile southern Mexico.