Border Wall | Texas Public Radio

Border Wall

Updated October 20

Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes. They all approach 30 feet in height. Customs and Border Protection is paying $20 million to six construction companies from Mississippi, Maryland, Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Crews in white hardhats operating cranes and forklifts are expected to complete the models by the end of the month.

One morning, when JR awoke, an image lingered from his dreams: The wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and above it a young kid peering curiously over.

A child just 1 year old, who has "no idea that's a wall that divides people — he has no idea of the political context," JR imagined. "What is he thinking?"

Trade negotiators met for a second round of talks on NAFTA over the weekend. President Trump has threatened to pull out of the agreement if it can’t be renegotiated.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the selection of four construction companies to build concrete prototypes of the wall President Trump plans to build along with border with Mexico.

Each prototype will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide, and cost between $400,000 and about $500,000.

The four companies are Caddell Construction of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel/DBA Fisher Industries of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction of Houston, Texas; and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia, Miss.

David Martin Davies

As the Trump administration plans for a border wall, many residents in the Rio Grande Valley are concerned about what that means for areas on the other side of the barrier, including ecologically sensitive and historically significant land.

From Texas Standard:

There has been a growing public debate over President Donald Trump's plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but many residents in Texas' Rio Grande Valley say a whole host of other issues affecting their region are being ignored.

At two protests last weekend against the wall in Mission, Texas and at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, south Texans tried to call attention to the untold stories.

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

Donald Trump ran for president with chant “build that wall” and the promise that Mexico would pay for it. However, getting Mexico to foot the bill for the controversial barrier doesn’t seem to be happening  and the wall’s construction still needs to win congressional approval.

On Thursday Texas Senator John Cornyn rolled out legislation that appears to back away in part from the Trump promise of a big beautiful wall that would stretch across the entire U.S. Mexico Border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress.

The U.S. and Mexico have long enjoyed a strong partnership — though not without tensions. Now, President Trump’s alienating rhetoric and promise to build a border wall may drive a wedge between the two countries.

This conversation is a collaboration between America Abroad Media and WAMU.

GUESTS

Doris Meissner, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS); senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, where she directs the Institute’s U.S. immigration policy work

Of all the wild places along the U.S.-Mexico border, Big Bend National Park, named for the great curve of the Rio Grande, is the gem.

In Santa Elena Canyon in west Texas, the international river flows between 1,500-foot-tall sheer walls of limestone — a study in light, shadow, water and time.

The Big Bend region — where the ghostly Chisos Mountains rise out of the prickly Chihuahuan Desert — is sacred ground. As writer Marion Winik described, it's "what I imagine the mind of God looks like."

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