Border arrests drop to lowest in 17 years

During the almost two-hour back-and-forth with senators, Kelly said families caught crossing the border illegally generally would not be separated unless the "situation at the time requires it". She said Congress will never approve a full concrete border wall and it's "embarrassing" Trump won't acknowledge that Mexico won't pay for the it.

The Trump administration's border wall may look different than originally envisioned. In 2016, United States Border Patrol apprehended 408,870 people along the Southwest border, compared to 331,333 in 2015 and 479,371 in 2014.

During Wednesday's hearing, Kelly said that the USA has "seen an awesome drop in the number of migrants coming out of Central America that are taking that terribly risky route" from their home countries.

With laws and federal personnel in place, additional resources should be dedicated to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enforce the nation's border security challenges, particularly along the southern border, said DHS Secretary John F. Kelly. Customs and Border Protection chose that site for its accessibility and to evaluate the bids "as part of the larger existing border infrastructure", said a CBP spokesperson.

Numerous larger companies bidding on the wall did not provide The San Diego Union-Tribune with copies of their designs because they are in competition with each other and do not want their efforts becoming public.

It would also create "nodes of cultural production" such as libraries, museums, galleries and workshops between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, and other spots with cities on both sides of the border. Traffic has surged in recent years of people crossing into Texas from three Central American countries torn by gang violence and poverty: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Authorities caught 12,193 people at the southern border in March, the lowest monthly figure in at least 17 years and the second straight month that border arrests dropped sharply. The number of people caught trying to enter the United States typically increases as the weather warms.

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His administration has started taking bids to build a wall and requested funding for more immigration judges and Border Patrol agents.

"It's unlikely that we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea".

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Kelly to clarify "interpretations" of the wall.

"The President knows that I'm looking at variations on the theme, and I have no doubt that when I go back to him and say, 'Wall makes sense here, high-tech fencing makes sense over here, technology makes sense over here, ' I have no doubt he'll tell me to go do it", said Kelly.

He submitted designs for a concrete wall and a wall made of other materials, using strong materials to protect the barrier from a auto bomb or suicide vest.

The company's proposal sets solar panels on sections of the wall, generating what it says would be approximately 2.0 megawatts of electricity per hour, according to the wire service.