Trump wants to build 30-foot-high wall at Mexican border

Proposals for the Homeland Security Department in President Donald Trump's first budget are displayed at the Government Printing Office in Washington, Thursday, March, 16, 2017. President Donald Trump's budget proposals on immigration enforcement read like a wish list for his most ardent supporters. The budget requests for the Homeland Security and Justice departments call for billions of dollars for some of Trump's most high-profile and contentious campaign promises, including a $2.6 billion down payment for a border wall he insisted Mexico would pay for. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON —

The Trump administration wants to build a 30-foot-high border wall that looks good from the north side and is difficult to climb or cut through, according to a pair of contract notices posted to a government website further detailing President Donald Trump’s promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” at the Mexican border.

The notices were made public late Friday by Customs and Border Protection, the Homeland Security Department agency that will oversee the project and eventually patrol and maintain the wall. The proposals are due to the government by March 29.

One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure. Both require the wall to sunk at least six feet into the ground and include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles. The proposed wall must also be built in a such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.”

The government will award a contract based on 30-foot-wide sample walls that are to be built in San Diego.

This is the second time the Trump administration has asked for private companies to bid on building the wall. Last month CPB put out a call for “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10.

Trump has bragged in recent days that the wall is ahead of schedule, though it’s unclear from the latest contract notices if any firms have submitted wall proposals or if any such submissions have been rejected.

The government has not said where the wall will be built, though the contract notices suggest some pieces of a new wall could replace existing fencing that stretches over about 700 miles of the roughly 2,000-mile border. The current fencing of mixed construction, including 15-foot steel posts set inches apart that are designed to keep people from crossing and shorter posts that are intended to block cars. Border Patrol agents are constantly repairing holes in the structure.

Trump has long promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, which he has said is necessary to stop the flow of immigrants crossing the border illegally and drug smugglers.

This week the president sent a budget proposal to Congress that included a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall. The total cost for the project is unclear, but the Government Accountability Office estimates it would cost about $6.5 million a mile for fence to keep pedestrians from crossing the border and about $1.8 million a mile for a vehicle barrier.

Congressional Republicans have said Trump’s wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion and Trump has suggested $12 billion.

An internal report prepared for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly estimated the cost of building a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border at about $21 billion, according to a U.S. government official who is involved in border issues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public.

That report proposed an initial phase that would extend fences 26 miles and a second wave that would add 151 miles, plus 272 “replacement” miles where fences are already installed, according to the official. Those two phases would cost $5 billion.

It is unclear how soon Congress might act on that request or how much money lawmakers will ultimately approve for the wall. Democrats and some Republicans have said a border-long wall is unnecessary.

The Department of Homeland Security reported earlier this month that the number of border arrests dropped about 44 percent from January to February, the lowest monthly tallies since at the least the start of the 2012 budget year.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 3

    toshiko

    His new budget includes construction costs and Health and some thers are very reduced.

  • 9

    CrazyJoe

    Can't even keep people from jumping the wall at the White House! Home Depot has 32 foot ladders for only $288. Oops.

  • 2

    inkochi

    Maybe next is walls around airports

    As Merkel might say, Ganz voll idiotisch!

  • -3

    badsey3

    It seems good fences make good neighbors: Already Trump's Wall is working with border arrests down 44% = Trump's Wall will pay for itself, but why not bill Mexico and have them pay double?

  • -4

    forgetaboutit

    Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level.

  • 3

    M3M3M3

    A 30ft border fence is a crazy idea. Especially when you realise just how rare physical borders between countries are around the world. There is an image here showing all the border fences currently in existence. I suspect people will be surprised to see just how few there are:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_barrier

    That said, the real problem in America is not that illegal immigrants are able to scale a border fence. It's that once they make it over, they are able to live and work with relative ease. The lack of a universal healthcare system means that being uninsured is not a cause for suspicion, nobody is legally required to carry ID so even encounters with the police will usually see them set free, they can get a drivers licence which is not linked to their immigration staus, their American born children become automatic citizens meaning that schools never need to enquire about the parents' legal status, the children can later sponsor the parents as caretakers, their employers rarely face fines for hiring them and when they do the fines are much smaller than in other countries, the cities they live in refuse to cooperate with the federal government to identify and deport them, and millions of citizens don't even see their actions as being blameworthy.

  • 3

    Dre Hund

    And for this he's cutting money to Meals On Wheels, which is seriously important for thousands of people.

  • 1

    zichi

    Fool! Wants to build a 30 foot high wall along the 2000 miles/3200km border, some of which runs in the middle of rivers.

  • 3

    albaleo

    Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level.

    That will be from a report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Their report makes a lot of assumptions, and should probably be checked carefully. But the gist is that illegal immigrants add costs in the form of public education and medical care and contribute relatively little in tax revenues. I don't think anyone would be surprised by that, especially in light of M3M3M3's comments about how easy it is to live in the USA once you have entered.

    What the report doesn't cover is the role played by this section of the population in the economy. Low-wages mean lower costs. Presumably someone is benefitting from that. In any economy, the poor (whether illegally there or not) generally receive public benefits disproportionate to the tax contributions they make. But thinking that simple removing the poor will remove the costs while the benefits will magically remain is wishful thinking.

  • 1

    zichi

    Trump wants to build the wall to keep Americans in and stop them escaping from his slash and burn policies.

  • -1

    Frederic Bastiat

    In just the first month there has been a sharp decrease in the number of incoming illegal immigrants into the US via the Southern border. Not coincidentally there has also been a sharp decrease in claims for EBT(Food Stamps). Canada is seeing a rise, however.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-18/mexicans-flood-canada-2017-border-detentions-surpass-all-2016

  • -1

    toshiko

    His new budget includes Wallis cost. Department of State and EPA are complaining they don't have money to them that they don't know how to do anything.

  • -4

    bass4funk

    Can't even keep people from jumping the wall at the White House! Home Depot has 32 foot ladders for only $288. Oops.

    You do know German Shepherd puppy sales are going to go through the roof as well as the surveillance industry equipment, not to mention the job openings for new border agent recruits

  • -1

    toshiko

    @bass: there is one more trying to enter WH.. One person jumped up flew on bicycle rack in front gate but he was captured. Don't you know surveillance equipment are very inexpensive that homeowners install them instead of relying on doorbell?

  • 0

    SuperLib

    The experts decided long ago that the money is better spent elsewhere in stemming the flow of illegals. We're just watching Trump and his supporters waste the money because all of the tough talk gives them some seriously satisfying mental masturbation.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Secret Service announced that it detained a driver of suspicious looking vehicle at WH. area. Very out of dated wall has to be updated.

  • 1

    dmacleod

    I'm wondering if Trump and his supporters aren't stuck in some kind of "Game of Thrones" reverse fantasy world where they think that building a "wall" on their southern border is somehow going to keep out the "brown workers" from invading and taking over their domain? Really? How about if they also build a main fortress called "Castle Brown" located somewhere in Texas where they have a central command staffed by criminals and other lowlifes who forego prison for a lifetime stint on "protecting" the realm from outside nasties? Maybe they could also ask George R. Martin for some advice for this fantasy design?

    Yes, the above is ridiculous, but if you look at Trump and his supporters on this issue, you can find even more absurdity. Consider this intellectual nugget:

    Trump's Wall will pay for itself, but why not bill Mexico and have them pay double?

    First, Trump's "Wall" will not pay for itself. If you figure in all of the construction costs plus the annual maintenance costs to the "Wall" itself, and the annual costs of security monitoring such as cameras, sensors, alarms, Bass' pooch patrol idea, administrative costs, and a whole bunch of other expenses, then it's obvious that this proposal is going to exceed its budget. Second, billing Mexico isn't going to work either since Mexico has already refused to pay for anything related to this stupid project, so where will the money for this endeavor come from? Perhaps Trump and his supporters think that imposing higher tariffs and special taxes will be the answers, but these ideas will only result in a trade war with Mexico and the loss of jobs with U.S. companies that already do business in Mexico, so the obvious answer for who will be footing the bill with be the American taxpayers. Therefore, for all of you so-called fiscal conservatives out there, let's do some real math: Candidate Trump initially said the border wall would cost $4 billion—though now that estimate has now grown to anywhere between $12 billion and $25 billion. Since this "Wall" cannot be made of ice, it will instead have to be made of hardened concrete, rebar, and steel. Therefore, if you start with the low estimate of $12 billion, it doesn’t even come close to what this monstrosity would cost. If we work with the lowest estimated height, 30 feet, and The Donald’s suggested length, 1,000 miles, some experts say it would run $10 billion for the concrete panels, $5 billion to $6 billion for the steel columns plus labor, $1 billion for concrete footing for the columns and a concrete foundation, $2 billion to build roads so 20-ton trucks can deliver the materials, and an additional 30 percent for engineering, design, and management, so that’s $25 billion already, and that’s just building the wall. Then, there are other costs. Since the border isn't some kind of set straight line in the dirt and on all U.S. government land, there are going to be massive legal battles which will add to the sum plus any costs related to construction delays. Consider this: In 2006, George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act which called for 700 miles of fencing along the border. Now, the border along large stretches of Texas consists of the Rio Grande, and typically, you can’t build a wall on the river, as a 1970 treaty prohibits building anything that may cause obstruction of normal flow of the river, and for that and other reasons, some parts of the border fence then had to be built inland. If you watched the 2010 documentary, "The Fence," it noted that in Brownsville, Texas, an entire golf course was stuck between Mexico and the United States’ border fence, which was a concern for the owners and members of that site. Furthermore, in Texas, most of the land along the Mexican border is owned by private citizens, so when the border fence was built, the federal government first used the power of eminent domain to condemn people’s private property, and then ended up suing hundreds of families after they refused to sign away the rights to their land. Michael Chertoff, then secretary of Homeland Security, signed a document giving his department the authority to waive 36 laws to build the fence, including the Endangered Species Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which led to the desecration of Native American grave sites, with fragments of human remains found in machinery to build the wall. Plus, waiving the protections to wildlife to build the fence has endangered the survival of jaguars, pygmy owls, and other animals, so look for more legal challenges from environmental groups. Lastly, a 2006 Pew Research Center study stated, “Nearly half of all the unauthorized migrants now living in the United States entered the country legally through a port of entry such as an airport or a border crossing point” and then overstaying their visa, so guess what?-- “A wall can’t stop that!” For those of you who still stubbornly support this idea, consider these links from right-wing land:

    Bush says not possible: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jeb-trump-proposing-to-build-a-wall-that-cant-be-built/article/2571086

    And for the most ardent Trump supporters, how about this one from one of your favorites, Breitbart:

    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/08/30/jeb-trumps-wall-wont-work/

  • 1

    coskuri

    In just the first month there has been a sharp decrease in the number of incoming illegal immigrants

    As my grandpa would say ; You know the boat is sinking when the rats leave. . But who will want to live in Trump's giga-wasteland ?

  • 0

    Frederic Bastiat

    "The experts decided long ago..."

    Appeal to Authority. Anonymous "experts". Must be thus and so! Sheeple.

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