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John Kelly: Mexico wall won't extend the full length of border

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Tim Foley shows how to climb a section of the border wall separating Mexico and the United States near where it ends as journalists Chitose Nakagawa right and Marcie Mieko Kagawa look on in Sasabe Ariz. Foley

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly said on Wednesday that President Trump's signature wall on the border with Mexico is unlikely to stretch from "sea to shining sea".

Claire McCaskill, who said that in the Senate nobody believes that Trump's wall will be built along the lines the president has set forth, Kelly acknowledged that a cement wall along the more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) of border with Mexico is undoable.

The Trump administration said winning bids must have a design that is 30 feet tall, can't be climbed and is constructed to prevent digging below the wall for at least 6 feet.

Kelly also told the Homeland Security committee there's been a "little bit of increase in Mexicans" entering the US illegally from the north.

"We're not going to build a wall ... where it doesn't make sense".

He said it's likely a sign that fewer immigrants are trying to make the trek into the U.S. If the muddle is successful, it would mean Trump could add some border fencing and technology, and then claim victory for creating his wall without actually building the new structure he promised.

However, the San Diego police and sheriff's office said their protection would extend to peaceful, law-abiding protesters, and made no mention of protecting construction workers.

Bidding for the border wall closed on Tuesday with numerous largest engineering and construction firms declining to submit proposals, CNN reported, possibly forcing the administration to rely on smaller firms, which may not have the necessary resources to complete the massive project as efficiently.

Kelly announced a dramatic decline in illegal border crossings, saying that the tough talk about the wall was having a deterrence effect.

One border wall design bidder allegedly asked if construction workers can carry a gun even in states with stringent Second Amendment restrictions to protect themselves from potential attack by violent protesters.

In his written testimony submitted to the committee, Kelly said the money requested by the administration would go toward a variety of investments, including technology and fencing.

And another woman CNN spoke to, Pat Bell, herself a Trump voter but who says she never agreed with his wall rhetoric, says she's prepared to take legal action.

The bids came after the Department of Homeland Securities released an extensive list of requirements last month, specifying it had to be "physically imposing" and "aesthetically pleasing in colour" from the USA side.

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

"I have a lot of elbow room", he said. According to Kelly, 1 million people come into the USA every day, and nearly half of them are subject to device searches. Sen.

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