A contractor bidding on President Trump’s border wall wants to know if authorities will “rush in” to protect his crew if they come under “hostile fire” during construction, according to an Associated Press story reported by Yahoo News.
Another contractor asked if the federal government could suspend California and other states’ anti-gun laws to allow employees to carry guns, and indemnify them from liability if they are forced to use them.
Since bids were due on Tuesday — and the politics over the construction of the wall are heating up — it should come as no surprise that company owners are concerned for the safety of their employees.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that “four to 10 bidders are expected to be chosen to build prototypes” in San Diego.
The threat of possible violence is very real, as armed Border Patrol Agents are attacked every day — including three times in a single day last month. Past efforts to construct any sort of physical barrier have been met with resistance — mostly from political activists, but also from international drug cartels, border bandits, and the smugglers who profit from trafficking human beings and drugs into the US.
Even though the Border Patrol would have the most immediate jurisdiction in the area, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency soliciting the bids, has made it clear that firms must plan on providing their own security.
However, the three main agencies in charge of law enforcement for the region — Border Patrol and the San Diego Police and Sheriff’s Departments — will reportedly enforce a buffer around the construction zone, if deemed necessary, while also respecting the “constitutional rights to free speech and assembly for any peaceful, law-abiding protesters.”
With inflammatory rhetoric coming from every direction — including the Mexican Archdiocese, who declared that any Mexican companies who help build the wall will be considered “traitors” to their country — the company (or companies) who win the right to build it are likely to see more trouble ahead, as some of the contractors have received death threats simply for bidding on the project.
In response to the questions about security, AP reported that CBP said that “the Border Patrol would respond as needed if there is a hostile attack, but companies were responsible for security. The government won’t allow waivers from state gun laws or indemnify companies whose workers use deadly force.”
CBP has indicated that it plans to award the contract by June 1 of this year, and will only announce the winning bidders.