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CBP Issues Contracts to Build Up To 65 Miles Of Border Wall

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The U.S. government awarded three contracts to two different construction companies to build roughly 65 miles of new physical barriers along the Texas-Mexico border.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Army Corps of Engineers doled out three contracts to build new wall along the Rio Grande Valley region. The physical barriers — which will include an 18-30 foot high steel bollard wall, enforcement cameras, and other tech — will be built in Hidalgo, Starr, and Cameron Counties in Texas, according to a Monday press release by CBP.

Construction is slated to begin in early 2020, and unlike other construction projects, it will take place in areas where no barriers currently exist.

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A contract to build roughly 21 miles of new border wall in Starr County was awarded to Southern Border Constructors. The same company was also given a contract to build approximately 22 miles of new walls in Starr and Hidalgo Counties. CBP also award a contract to Gibraltar-Caddell Joint Venture to build about 22 miles of new border wall within Cameron and Hidalgo Counties.

All three contracts were doled out on Sunday. The total value of the contracts totaled well over $812,000,000. In their statement, CBP noted that the area is a hotspot for illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

“RGV is the busiest sector in the nation and accounts for approximately 40% of the illegal alien apprehensions and, for the FY to date, ranks first in seized cocaine and marijuana along the southwest border.  The majority of its activity is occurring in areas where RGV has limited infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology,” the statement read.

“CBP continues to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 — also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements — taking steps to expeditiously plan, design, and construct a physical wall using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the southern border,” the agency continued.

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The announcement of the new contracts marks the latest in the Trump administration’s bid to build as much wall as possible before the 2020 presidential election. Construction of a massive wall between the U.S. and Mexico was President Donald Trump’s most ambitious campaign promise during the 2016 cycle. However, the proposal is adamantly opposed by congressional Democrats.

For the second time, congressional Democrats, with the help of several Republican lawmakers, have voted twice to end the president’s emergency declaration for the southern border. The declaration has allowed him to reallocate billions in military funding over to new construction projects.

While the administration has already erected about 65 miles of border wall already, these barriers simply replaced vehicular barriers with pedestrian barriers. However, the administration notes that vehicular barriers, which can stand only waist-high, are easily permeable by migrants on foot. The erection of the higher pedestrian barriers are just as needed as areas with no barrier at all.

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