The deadline for contractors to place their bids on the construction of the Trump administration’s planned border wall has been extended until next Tuesday. Some of the companies interested in constructing the border wall are owned and operated by immigrants and Hispanic Americans.
Fox Business reports that on Tuesday, Senate Republicans decided that funding for the wall would likely not be included in the spending bill that Congress will vote to approve next month. The Republicans fear the Democrats will lead a government shutdown to oppose Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern border of the United States. This is disappointing for the administration, as well as the more than 600 companies that have already submitted designs for the wall, 10% of which are considered Hispanic American owned.
Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga, CEO of the Texas-based Penna Group, put in a bid to design and construct the border wall. However, his decision was not an easy one. Evangelista-Ysasaga is the descendant of Mexican immigrants and employs multiple Mexican immigrants. He said he was motivated to submit a “humane” design when he became aware of some less civilized, even “lethal,” proposals.
“It is our hope that once we secure our borders, we can have a national conversation about immigration reform. After 35 years of worsening immigration problems … it’s become clear that the American people and our politicians will not pass any new laws regarding immigration reform without first enforcing the laws on the books, including securing our borders,” Evangelista-Ysasaga said.
Mario Burgos, president and CEO of the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Burgos Group, put in a bid to provide general and electrical contracting services for the project, despite being the son of an Ecuadorian immigrant.
“I value the contributions immigrants, like my father, grandparents and other members of our family have made and continue to make to this country,” Burgos told FOX Business.
Burgos also believes border security and immigration policy should be completely separate issues.
“I think it is unfortunate that the political rhetoric – particularly during the campaign – has resulted in border security and immigration policy being discussed as though they are synonymous. They are not one and the same. I am not aware of a country in the world that does not want to control its borders. Immigration policy is a completely separate issue,” Burgos said.
According to preliminary guidelines released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency wants the wall to be between 18 and 30 feet tall and appear “aesthetically pleasing” on the U.S. side. The agency also requires the wall the be 6 feet deep to prevent tunneling.
The federal government is awarding the contract based on multiple 30-foot prototypes that will be built in San Diego, according to NBC News.
A new CBP briefing on the wall shows that 2018’s budget blueprint will ask for about $2.6 billion to construct less than 75 miles’ worth of the wall. This is according to a press release from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. At that rate the wall would end up costing $66.9 billion in total. Earlier estimates from the Department of Homeland Security valued the project at $21.6 billion for 1,250 miles. The President has repeatedly stated that Mexico will be responsible for its funding.
So far, the President has made good on all of his promises and the American people who voted for him do not want to be disappointed.