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Border & Immigration

CBP Announces Two More Laredo Border Wall Contracts For Nearly $500 Million

A Border Patrol vehicle is parked near the existing border wall south of Donna, Texas.
Verónica G. Cárdenas for NPR
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A Border Patrol vehicle is parked near the existing border wall south of Donna, Texas.

The Trump administration has now awarded four contracts for its proposed border wall in the Laredo area for a total of more than $1 billion.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced two new contracts for nearly 40 miles of border wall construction in Webb County on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has now awarded four contracts for its proposed border wall in the Laredo area for a total of more than $1 billion.

On Wednesday, CBP said the New Mexico-based company Southwest Valley Constructors won a contract valued at more than $201 million for about 13 miles of the Laredo wall system.

Fisher Sand and Gravel Company, also known as Fisher Industries, received a contract of more than $283 million for about 27 miles of wall construction. The projects will include a 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall, roads, lighting, enforcement cameras and other technology to create a “complete enforcement zone,” according to CBP.

This is the second contract the North Dakota-based Fisher company wins for the Laredo border wall. The company has drawn criticism for building privately-funded walls in Mission, Texas, and in New Mexico with the We Build The Wall group. The group allegedly defrauded donors, and erosion has already been reported at the wall in Mission.

The first contract of more than $275 million was awarded to the Alabama company Caddell in May for about 14 miles of wall construction.

The No Border Wall Coalition of Laredo landowners and residents criticized the two new contracts as a “desperate last minute effort” from the Trump administration ahead of the November election.

“This has nothing to do with security. This is about politics and greed,” said Tricia Cortez, executive director of the Rio Grande International Study Center and a co-founder of the coalition, in a statement. “These contractors know the end may be coming and the wall may never be built, so they hope to go on a spending spree to get as much of our taxpayer money as they can before their time runs out.”

CBP said wall construction under the most recent contracts is “anticipated to begin in September 2021, pending availability of real estate.” Opposing landowners have fought the federal government’s attempts to survey and acquire their land.