Border Wall | Texas Public Radio

Border Wall

Read a version of this story in Spanish.

As the White House pushes Congress to fund President Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall, a new wrinkle has emerged that could stymie parts of the massive project.

There's a lot of excitement at the Border Security Expo in San Antonio, where vendors schmooze with government buyers and peddle their wares.

Design proposals for President Trump’s wall along the U.S. border with Mexico are due today. Hundreds of companies have responded to the government’s call for submissions, from major defense contractors like Raytheon to small construction firms.

David Martin Davies

President Donald Trump's plan to build a massive wall along the entire U.S. Mexico border has it's supporters and opponents among the residents who live on the Texas southern border.  Last Saturday it was the anti-wall forces that wanted to make sure their opinion was heard. They staged a protest on the international bridge that connects Del Rio, Texas and Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.

As a Mariachi band played, several hundred people from both side of the Texas Mexico border lined up along the Del Rio Ciudad Acuna Bridge. Then they linked arms and cheered.

David Martin Davies / Texas Public Radio

DEL RIO -- Del Rio was among a number of communities on both sides of the U.S.- Mexico border that held weekend rallies to oppose the Trump administration’s wall. A bipartisan group of officials on Saturday joined residents in showing their opposition to a wall.

The Department of Homeland Security released new data late Wednesday showing that illegal southern border crossings diminished in the opening weeks of the new Trump administration.

The new figures indicate "an unprecedented decline in traffic" in the month of February, according to a statement issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The bidding process to design and construct a wall along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to begin soon. The government wants a 30-foot barrier made of precast concrete that is resistant to tampering and climbing.

The public radio show Reveal has mapped the entire 2,000-mile border and found that about 650 miles already have some sort of barrier in place, including about 55 miles of fencing throughout the Rio Grande Valley in Southeast Texas.

From Texas Standard:

The United States Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection unit says it will begin soliciting proposals from companies interested in constructing President Donald Trump's proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico divide.

The federal government posted a pre-solicitation this week and has already garnered hundreds of responses – dozens from Texas alone – for what promises to be one of the biggest contracts of any infrastructure project planned by the Trump administration.

From Texas Standard: 

President Donald Trump's proposed border wall expansion could mean many more legal cases regarding how landowners should be compensated for the government condemning their property to house parts of the barrier.

The proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would run right through Native lands, and tribal leaders in the region say it would desecrate sacred sites.

"Over my dead body will we build a wall," says Verlon Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation. "It's like me going into your home and saying 'You know what? I believe in order to protect your house we need some adjusting.' And you're going to say, 'Wait a minute, who are you to come into my house and tell me how to protect my home?' " he says.

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