FROM THE BORDER – It’s been almost two months since President Donald Trump announced the southern border as a national emergency declaration. On Tuesday, the Defense Department (US Army Corps of Engineers) publicly announced it had awarded $976 million worth of contracts to two companies in order to build the border wall. The contracts have a completion date of October 2020.
SLSCO Ltd., a Texas-based company, was awarded a $789 million contract to begin the construction of the wall in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Barnard Construction Company, a Montana-based company, was awarded a $187 million contract for border wall construction in Yuma, Arizona.
In New Mexico, the border wall will have a “30-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate,” according to Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, the spokesperson for the Department of Defense. The Yuma area will have an “18-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate.”
A total of nine companies put in bids for the two contracts.
The border wall funding originates from the Pentagon, which does not need Congressional approval to divert funds for these specific projects. In fact, the Pentagon does not even need a national emergency declaration to reprogram the $1 billion from counternarcotics programs.
The crisis along the southern border has spiked in the last month alone. In March, there were more than 90,000 illegal immigrants apprehended crossing the border.
“We are currently experiencing a system-wide emergency in our processing and holding facilities,” said Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Robert Perez.
That is the most CBP has seen in the past 11 years in a single-month period.
“We are at a near system-wide meltdown at the southern border. Everything is on the table to secure the border, and the statistics don’t lie,” said former National Director of VOCES Action and current Texas Political Analyst Adryana Aldeen. “Despite Democrats’ claims, this is not a ‘manufactured crisis.’”
“President Trump has repeatedly warned that our border is overwhelmed. Our immigration system was not designed to handle this volume and our weak borders are being exploited by human traffickers, drug smugglers, and violent gangs like MS-13.”
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her AIM border stories, @MarissaAlisa.