To see how this announcement fits into the timeline of border wall construction, click here.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that it has started construction on the third segment of President Donald Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. Texas-based SLSCO is the general contractor for the $147 million project.
- SLSCO will replace an existing 14-mile, 8-foot to 10-foot section of wall built from scrap metal with an 18-foot to 30-foot bollard-style wall topped with an anti-climbing plate. The wall starts around one half-mile from the Pacific Ocean and extends eastward into San Diego County in an area that the border protection agency noted as being fraught with arrests for illegal border crossings and drug smuggling.
- This is the third segment of the border wall that is currently under construction. One is in Calexico, California, where SWF Constructors of Omaha, Nebraska, is building an $18 million, two-mile piece, and the other is a $73 million, 20-mile portion in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, being built by Montana-based Barnard Construction Co.
Border wall construction has been moving forward in fits and starts amid continuing protests about immigration policy and environmental legislation related to construction of the wall.
As part of the Santa Teresa portion of the wall, the Department of Homeland Security published a Notice of Determination in the Federal Register that waived several environmental and historic preservation laws – e.g. the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act – so that crews would be able to fast-track construction. Activists filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security trying to stop construction and make the project subject to all the standard environmental reviews, but a U.S. District Court judge rejected those arguments and allowed the department to continue.
Local opponents have been somewhat more successful, as some municipalities have promised to sever relationships with those who participate in any phase of border wall construction, even bidding.
The latest cities to take up the cause are Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles.
In February, Austin officials voted to prohibit wall contractors from being eligible for city contract awards, with an exemption granted to companies that have worked on pre-Trump wall projects.
In April, Los Angeles officials voted to require any company that has done work on any U.S.-Mexico barrier or submitted a bid for such work to disclose that relationship.