Planning, Evaluations Under Way for US-Mexico Border Wall
Planning for President Donald Trump’s US-Mexico border wall is under way.
Officials are looking into multiple proposals, site studies are ongoing, and money is available to work on the project.
The work on the wall is under the auspices of President Trump’s 25 January executive order, which put forth The Trump Administration policy for “the immediate construction of a physical wall.”
The order also cited the Secure Fence Act from Y 2006 that called for fencing and barriers for up to 700 miles of the 1,954-mile border.
In Y 2015, the Department of Homeland Security reported that 1,300 miles of the 1,954 miles of the border have no coverage. Only 2% of the border has the amount of fencing that the Secure Fence Act requires.
“The executive order calls on the authority in the Secure Fence Act for us to begin immediately,” a senior administration official said.
US Customs and Border Protection has gotten more than 100 proposals for full-scale prototypes of wall designs.
“We are evaluating what started out as a solicitation to industry and request for proposals—18 to 30 feet high, impenetrable, hard-to-scale, the correct aesthetics,” a US official said. “We’ve tried to capture the intent of President Trump’s order in the requests for proposals, and those proposals are being evaluated now.”
The intention is not to build a wall across the entire length of the border. Planners said some areas would not have an actual wall. Other areas might have fencing or some other barrier, according to a report.
Officials say that about 700 miles of the border would need to be covered. he official said planners are looking at the locations of most illegal border crossings. The executive order to “prevent all entries” is being taken very seriously, according to the administration officials in the report.
The Y 2017 budget resolution provided “in the neighborhood of $900-M” for proposals and prototypes, the official said. He added, however, that the $900-M figure would provide upgrades to current fencing and engineering, design, and real estate work.
No cost estimate exists yet, because a design has not been chosen.
A major issue for the building of the wall is that private citizens and businesses own land along much of the border, according to a media report Tuesday.