Out of up to 450 companies bidding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, approximately 20 will be chosen to construct prototypes in eastern San Diego County this June.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials confirmed the progress on constructing the Trump Administration’s promised border wall to the San Diego Union Tribune this week. Finalists for constructing the border wall are set to be chosen on June 1.
Proposed plans came in last week, with options ranging from a nuclear waste obstacle course, to a monorail-topped wall, to plans for solar panels or engraved family trees, according to the Tribune. The some-20 finalists will be invited to erect prototypes of their proposed walls. Administration parameters require walls to be 30 feet tall and prevent digging under by six feet down. The length will be around 30 feet.
Prototypes will be built approximately 120 feet from the southern border in the Otay Mesa region, according to the Associated Press. The exact location has not been publicly identified and plans are still subject to change.
Latino business owners have reported receiving death threats after their bids on the wall became public knowledge, according to the Washington Post. Some have had rocks thrown at them. One had a tractor stolen. One woman whose grandparents came to the U.S. from Mexico told the Post that she fielded five death threats in just one morning. Others say they have been accused of betraying their community.
On the flip side, bidding San Diego-based contractor Concrete Contractors Interstate told the Tribune that employees, 55 of whom are Latino, were asked their opinions before the bid was submitted. The employees were for it, responding, according to the owner, that their families come first.
San Diego is already home to the first cross-border airport terminal, which resides in the Otay Mesa area. It connects travelers in the United States to the Tijuana airport.
Border wall prototypes could run from $200,000 to $500,000, according to the Associated Press. Safety concerns have arisen for those working on construction of the prototype walls. An unnamed U.S. official told the AP that Border Patrol and local police are prepared, should they need to set up a buffer zone for the construction site.
Overall funding for the wall remains in question, as Mexico has refused to comply with the President’s call for Mexico to pay for construction of the wall, and initial proposed U.S. funding for the wall will not cover its full construction.
California state officials have threatened retribution against companies in the state that work on the wall. State Democrats have indeed introduced a bill that would do just that.
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