The federal government led by President Donald Trump announced recently that the development of eight prototypes of the proposed border wall in Mexico has already started. This isn’t a surprising move though, since Trump has been very vocal about building such wall during the presidential campaign.
Apparently, the construction in San Diego started three months behind schedule. This was due to the protests conducted by those who didn’t win the contracts.
The building process is said to last for about 30 days, as per Custom and Border Protection agency.
The said agency is also expected to pick several winners – or none at all. Referring to the prototypes, they said:
[It] will inform future design standards which will likely continue to evolve to meet the U.S. Border Patrol’s requirements.”
The construction, however, gave the agency massive protests. Hence the process is set under tight security.
Four of the six companies that won the contracts have already began building the designs.
San Diego police officers along with the county sheriff’s deputies were assigned out in streets and intersections as the building process took place.
As far as the design is concerned, it remains a mystery. Each prototype is said to be 30 feet high and 30 feet long. According to the bidding documents, four of these are to be made with solid concrete, while the other four will be made of “other materials.” Trump added that the wall will have “see-through” features, though.
The construction site, in particular, is close to the already-existing high-security fence. This is the border from San Diego all the way to the east. As of this writing, there are already protests being reported.
A border patrol detains a man after breaching border fencing, which separates San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico.
Mexican Federal Police can be seen on the area where the construction is going on.
Regardless, concrete barriers have already been placed on all access points to the construction site. There were also chain link fences, all of which have been built across the open land. Interestingly, there will be an area meant for protestors to congregate and it’s called “free speech zone.”
Ronald Vitiello, CBP’s acting deputy commissioner, was quoted saying:
We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls.”
He further added:
Our multi-pronged strategy to ensure the safety and security of the American people includes barriers, infrastructure, technology and people. Moving forward with the prototypes enables us to continue to incorporate all the tools necessary to secure our border.”
The administration is already facing various federal lawsuits, particularly in San Diego. These lawsuits seek to block the development of the prototypes and even plan to replace all of the existing barriers erected in California.
Currently at hand is an issue involving a 2005 law, which gives the Homeland Security secretary broad powers to waive dozens of laws for border barriers. This already includes the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Clean Air Act.
Unfortunately for these lawsuits, they’re all expired.
The administration has yet to comment on said lawsuits, but has managed to issue two waivers.
Contrary to popular belief, funding in hopes to extend the wall beyond its current distance (654 miles) is unlikely to happen. Democrats have even bulked at Trump’s request of $1.6 billion to replace the existing 14 miles located in San Diego. The fund was also expected to be used in building the 60 miles in Rio Grande Valley in Texas, which is the busiest corridor for all illegal crossings.
Here’s one of the versions of how the Trump’s proposed border will look.
Due to the massive protests after the construction started, agents and special forces were deployed.
The awarded contractors were Caddell Construction Co. of Montgomery, Alabama, and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. of Philadelphia, Mississippi. They’re tasked to build one of wall of “other materials” and concrete.
As for the other contracts, they went to Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. of Tempe, Arizona, and Texas Sterling Construction Co. of Houston. For the other materials contracts, they were given to KWR Construction Inc. of Sierra Vista, Arizona, and ELTA North America Inc. of Annapolis Junction, Maryland.
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