Mexican construction firms under fire over Trump wall

The Trump administration wants to build a 30-foot-high border wall that looks good from the north side and is hard 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, handsome wall" at the Mexican border.

Hundreds of vendors have shown interest in building President Donald Trump's wall including Hidalgo County officials who hope for a continued partnership with the federal government to build levees that can provide border security and flood protection.

"His budget highlights his obsession with mass deportations and building a border wall while making clear he is more concerned with keeping campaign promises than keeping the country safe and secure", Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a statement Thursday.

The plan states the material required to seal the border in three constructed phases of fences and wall will cover a little more than 1,250 miles (2,000 km) by the end of 2020.

The requests say the wall should be cost-effective to build and fix.

Wall designs are also required to include a 25- to 50-foot automated gate to allow pedestrians and vehicles to pass through.

"The Government's nominal concept is for a 30-foot high wall", according to Department of Homeland Security records. The side facing the USA should also be "aesthetically pleasing in color".

On Tuesday, a company in the central Mexican state of Puebla called Ecovelocity raised eyebrows when it said it wanted to install lighting for the wall.

Those who want to send proposals for how they would build the wall have two weeks to submit their plans. That means 30 feet tall, although the officials wrote that "designs with heights of at least 18 feet may be acceptable". Shortly after taking office, he signed an executive order aimed at speeding up the process, which is expected to cost between $12 and $21 billion dollars. The government hasn't said when the wall will be built but the notices suggest some of the wall can replace existing fencing. The administration plans to increase the number of border patrol agents to 5,000 and immigration and customs enforcement staff to 10,000, in addition to spending $1.5 billion to set up detention centres for undocumented immigrants. The RFP does not contain a cost estimate for the structure, though Trump's recent budget proposal includes in it a $2 billion down payment for the wall.

  • Elsie Buchanan