The Washington Post reported this afternoon that Trump quietly surrendered on border wall funding last week and will not threaten to veto a government funding bill if it doesn't include funding, but that doesn't mean construction on border wall prototypes won't proceed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, construction on border wall prototypes will begin this month and will be completed by next month.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting deputy commissioner Ronald Vitiello said he expected construction to begin in a couple of weeks, and companies will have 30 days to complete their projects.
Once finished, border experts will test the walls for aesthetics, anti-climbing features, resistance to tampering and penetrability with small hand tools.
Contractors also are required to account for other technological features, such as sensors, cameras and lighting, that would accompany the physical walls.
If Congress hasn't passed border wall funding, where did the Department of Homeland Security get the money for building prototypes?
As you may recall, Trump signed an executive order earlier this year ordering the department to identify existing funds that could be used to build a wall, but the department was only able to scrape together $20 million in funding that could be redirected for construction. The prototype walls are expected to be relatively small, perhaps the length of a semi tractor-trailer.
Anything could happen in the future, but I believe these small prototypes are the closest Trump will ever come to actually building a border wall.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, there's still a small chance that construction of the prototypes could be delayed again as environmental groups are challenging them in court.