Tagged: Trump wall

Trump administration preparing Texas wildlife refuge for first border wall segment

(TEXAS OBSERVER) — by Melissa del Bosque

For at least six months, private contractors and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have been quietly preparing to build the first piece of President Trump’s border wall through the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas.

The federally owned 2,088-acre refuge, often called the “crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system,” could see construction begin as early as January 2018, according to a federal official who has been involved in the planning but asked to remain anonymous.

“This should be public information,” the official told the Observer. “There shouldn’t be government officials meeting in secret just so they don’t have to deal with the backlash. The public has the right to know about these plans.”

CBP plans to construct an 18-foot levee wall that would stretch for almost three miles through the wildlife refuge, according to the official. The structure would consist of a concrete base, which would serve as a levee, and be topped with a fence made of steel bollards, similar to a levee wall built almost a decade ago near Hidalgo, Texas. A second federal official confirmed these details to the Observer.

The official said that the Department of Homeland Security picked the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge as the first site for a border wall segment because it’s owned by the federal government, avoiding legal entanglements with private landowners. At least 95 percent of the Texas border is privately owned. As the Observer’s June cover story, “Over the Wall,” detailed, at least one-third of the 320 condemnation suits filed against landowners in 2007 are still pending.

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Trump administration unveils first step in building border wall

(ZERO HEDGE) — In the first tangible step toward delivering on Trump’s campaign promise to halt unauthorized immigration from Mexico, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday released plans for picking vendors for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, issuing a preliminary request for proposals saying it plans to release a formal solicitation around March 6 “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”

In a document on the federal government’s website for business opportunities, the CPB said it would release a request on or about March 6 asking companies for prototype ideas for a wall to be built near the U.S.-Mexican border. Vendors were asked to submit prototype concepts by March 10. After reviewing the ideas submitted by vendors, the agency will evaluate and select the best designs by March 20, then issue a request for proposals by March 24 in which vendors would be asked to price out the cost of building the proposed wall.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Reuters the solicitation published on Friday had “everything to do” with the wall that Trump has proposed. The spokesman said the initial request for information was to give industry the opportunity to tell the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CBP, what is possible in constructing a border wall. “Once we get feedback from the vendors, we’ll look at the ones that are most feasible,” the spokesman said. That would be followed by the request for proposals to firm up exactly how much constructing the wall would cost.

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Mexican smuggler says Trump’s wall won’t stop him

(SEEKER) — He grew up poor in Nogales, Mexico, just across the border from Arizona. His dad died when he was a teen, his mother worked as a cook. He couldn’t afford the things he wanted. There weren’t many jobs for a guy like Pancho, as he calls himself.

But there was a steady gig that paid $2,000 a week — smuggling marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border — and Pancho took it. He’s 29 now, a father of five, and he says he works long hours to support his family, “so that they won’t be in need.” It’s a risky life, but he’s done it for 12 years, and he doesn’t think anything President Donald Trump does about a border wall will stop the illegal narcotics trade.

“No matter what you do here, we can still get through,” said Pancho, while sitting in the dim light of an abandoned tenement just a few minutes south of the border. It was cold and damp, and he sat hunched in a chair in a musty room with a dirty old mattress and newspapers scattered across the floor. The fence along the border used to be shorter, he recalled. It’s higher now, but that’s no impediment.

Smugglers always seem to find a way around such obstacles — over, under or around. US law enforcement agents know this.

“Drugs will come in through every direction,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada in Nogales, Ariz., located just across the border. “They’ll throw the drugs over the fence. They’ll push them through.” That or they will tunnel beneath or send people deep into the mountains, where the fence is less obtrusive.

“These cartels, they’re a 24/7 business, thinking of ways to bring drugs across,” Estrada continued. “They’ll do it through the ports of entry, the Mariposa commercial port. You know, they’ll get a ton, two tons of marijuana come in on some of those trailers.”

The drug smuggling is unrelenting.

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Donald Trump: Wall construction will start ‘as soon as we can physically do it’

(BREITBART) — by Charlie Spiering

President Donald Trump vowed to start his “big beautiful” wall on the Southern border of the United States immediately during an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir.

When asked for the construction date, Trump said that he would begin the project “as soon as we can physically do it” and confirmed that planning would start “immediately.” He predicted, however, that the actual construction process might take a few months to begin.

The president will travel this afternoon to the Department of Homeland Security to sign several executive orders that deal with border security.

Trump confirmed that ultimately Mexico would pay for the wall, but that the government would get the project started.

He also dismissed Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for insisting that his country would not pay for the wall.

“I think he has to say that,” Trump replied, vowing that future negotiations with Mexico would ensure payment from the country.

But he suggested that the wall would be good for Mexico too.

“What I am doing will be good for the United States; it’s also going to be good for Mexico,” Trump said. “We want to have a very stable, solid Mexico.”

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Retiring border chief calls Trump’s wall a waste of time, money

(ABC NEWS) — Donald Trump’s most consistent campaign promise — to build a wall on the United States’ southern border to keep immigrants out — will be a waste of time and money, the head of the Customs and Border Protection agency told ABC News in a final warning just days before leaving office.

“I think that anyone who’s been familiar with the southwest border and the terrain … kind of recognizes that building a wall along the entire southwest border is probably not going to work,” Gil Kerlikowske, the commissioner of the CBP under President Barack Obama since 2014, said shortly before leaving office last Friday.

Over the course of the race to the White House, Trump’s wall idea became more than a simple policy proposal.

Repeatedly featuring in Trump’s speeches and the chants of his supporters, the idea of the wall in many ways came to capture the zeitgeist of his campaign.

And it’s an idea that persisted through the race and afterward, even as other proposals were altered or dropped.

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Building the Trump wall

(THE COURIER) — The 2006 Secure Fence Act prompted the U.S. to build barriers along a 653-mile stretch of border dividing California and Arizona with Mexico to deter immigrants and drug smugglers.

Much of the fence is a slatted-metal barrier, 18 to 30 feet high. But because of budget concerns, it also consists of vehicles barriers and single-layer pedestrian fencing, not double-layer fencing cited in the law.

Drug smugglers responded by building 148 tunnels — including some multimillion-dollar lighted and well-ventilated “supertunnels” — under the border.

The Los Angeles Times reports U.S. and Mexican authorities systematically closed tunnels, only to have smugglers re-open them.

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Trump pushes Congress to quickly fund wall

(BREITBART) — Deputies for President-elect Donald Trump are pressing Hill Republicans to appropriate funds by April for a quick start to the construction of a border wall, according to CNN.

The quick spending for the wall would be legally authorized by a long-standing 2006 law, which allows the federal government to build 700 miles of double-layer fencing on the border.

“It was not done in the Obama administration, so by funding the authorization that’s already happened a decade ago, we could start the process of meeting Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to secure the border,” GOP Rep. Luke Messer told CNN.

But the Hill appropriations would break a promise, CNN says:

The move would break a key campaign promise when Trump repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for the construction of the wall along the border.

In fact, Trump did not claim he would force Mexico to pay the initial costs of the wall, which likely will reduce the huge financial and civic costs imposed by illegal immigration on American communities.

Trump’s demand for quick funding from Congress may help the administration overcome back-room opposition from Democratic and GOP legislators who may try to slow and delay Trump’s border enforcement priorities.

So far, senior GOP leaders have promised they will support Trump’s demand for border security, but they have resisted growing public pressure — and his campaign promise — to reduce legal immigration and companies’ use of guest-workers.

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Can Donald Trump really build a border wall to Mexico?

(THE DAILY DOT) — By Kristen Hubby —

President-elect Donald Trump has a big league agenda for his first 100 days in office, including one of his most concrete—and controversial—plans: to build a wall between the U.S.–Mexico border with full reimbursement from Mexico.

The construction of a wall was one of his earliest promises to the American people. At Trump rallies, supporters chanted “build the wall, build the wall,” as Trump backed his proposal with a promise. When announcing his run for president, Trump assured his supporters that he will “build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better” than him. He added that he will “build them very inexpensively.”

Of course, campaign trails are for boasting, and the promise of the wall may be too bold given the challenges Trump will face—including those from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

After his presidential win, Trump still stands firmly with his decision to build the wall. Below is the outline for Trump’s plans for immigration from his first 100 days outline, which includes the construction of Trump’s wall:

End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

With few details on how this agenda will actually be accomplished, the assumption that Trump will actually be able to keep his promise to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico border remains debatable. Here’s what you need to know.

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Senator: The wall will be built, ‘not that expensive, shovel ready, works’

(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) — By Paul Bedard

Quick action in Congress to fund construction of President-elect Trump’s border wall is expected next year and it shouldn’t be too expensive complete, according to a key lawmaker who chairs the committee that oversees immigration.

What’s more, said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the project should be considered “shovel ready,” and part of the proposed $1 trillion infrastructure project eyed by the incoming administration.

“In terms of federal spending, it’s not going to be that expensive and if President Trump when he becomes president is talking about an infrastructure program, well this would be a shovel ready project,” said Johnson, citing 2006 legislation signed by former President Bush and called the Secure Fence Act to fund completion of the wall.

Appearing before Johnson’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week, the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol said the fence should be completed. “Does it work? Yes,” said Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan.

Johnson told Secrets that there are immigration fees that can be instituted or increased to raise money from Mexicans and others seeking entry to the United States. He suggested that it might cost “a few billion.”

He added that a wall would not only increase security but alleviate the staffing woes in the Border Patrol.

“Fencing actually works. So we need better fencing. We need more better fencing. And that could relieve pressure. Let’s face it, part of the problem that Customs and Border Protection is dealing with is the fact that they are having a hard time hiring enough people. So the nice thing about fencing, particularly if you have double fencing with a road in between the fencing, it requires fewer agents. And so you kind of kill two birds with one stone there. You provide better security and you are able to provide this better security with fewer agents. That’s a good thing,” the newly reelected senator said.

And he said that a wall isn’t needed for all of the border, some of which is nearly impossible to get to because of rough terrain and some covered with technology.

“From my standpoint, the wall maybe viewed somewhat as a metaphor. I don’t think we need 1,700 miles of it, but we need far better fencing than we’ve got,” said the senator.

Asked about potential protests in Congress to construction, Johnson said he believes the House and Senate should respect the election outcome.

“Hopefully they heard the wish of the American public that we want to secure our border,” said Johnson.

“If we’re ever going to fix our immigration system I think the American public is going to demand that they have confidence in the fact that we are committed to securing our border, which they very justifiably don’t have that confidence,” he said.

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Trump declares war: Mexican cartel assets to pay for border wall

(BREITBART) — The resources of Mexican transnational criminal organizations, also known as cartels, will be seized and used to fund Donald Trump’s border wall if he wins the 2016 presidential election. The wall, which several previously high-trafficked areas of the U.S.-Mexico border already have–whether an actual wall or a several tiered fencing and integrated technological system–has been a controversial issue to pundits and politicians who lack information on the subject.

Trump’s idea to force the cartels to pay will likely manifest in the form of seizing their assets. It is likely that the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic shackles placed upon the FBI will be removed, as it is common knowledge that the State Department pressures the FBI to balance their law enforcement priorities with diplomatic concerns–a restriction that makes it difficult to properly address Mexican cartels when many of the elected leaders in Mexico are actually surrogates for those very cartels, as Breitbart Texas has reported ad nauseam.

Trump’s plan, as stated as early as March 2016, never included a wall on all 1,954 miles of land border. Trump committed to give the actual Border Patrol agents who patrol each of the nine sectors on the southwest border a seat at the policy table and to listen to where a wall is needed and where one is unneeded–a fact most pundits and journalists seemingly missed as they mistakenly discuss his allegedly changing positions on the matter.

The news first broke on Lifezette; however, the focus on cartels was downplayed in their coverage as an idea that is being “mulled over.” Trump’s campaign is now led by Stephen Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News who stepped down temporarily to run the campaign. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project began under Bannon’s leadership and the issue is dear to his heart. The project allows clandestine citizen journalists in several Mexican states that are under direct control from Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel to have a platform to expose the evils of the transnational criminal groups and has a stated goal of warring with the criminals and exposing them for the purpose of ending them.

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