Immigration arrests at border plunge

As a presidential candidate, Trump campaigned on strengthening US immigration enforcement and increasing deportations of undocumented immigrants.

One bidder wants to build President Donald Trump's 2,000-mile wall with impenetrable concrete made from the soil found on the Mexican border.

That platform feature on Neusch's design is an unusual feature, but far from the oddest among the would-be contractors for the border wall project.

On the campaign trail, President Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall, but has since indicated Uncle Sam will foot the bill.

FILE - In this June 13, 2013, file photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent working with a border wall fix crew welds a section of steel over a hole cut in the border wall in San Diego. The group Otra Nation has submitted a plan with no wall at all, but rather a transcontinental Hyperloop train that could increase travel between the two countries.

More than 20 San Diego County companies had expressed interest in applying.

A typical response, he told senators, is: "Boss, if you could give me 27 more miles here, 16 miles here, I don't really care about the other 140 miles I'm responsible for".

Asked if he was concerned about being the potential target of criticism for participating in a divisive project - some communities in California have vowed not to do business with bidders on the wall - Neusch said, "It doesn't bother me at all".

"The sky's the limit for projects in the future", he said. "I look at this from a security standpoint".

Specifications for the wall include that it must be able to repel pickaxes and sledgehammers for at least an hour, and be "aesthetically pleasing" on the north side that would face the United States.

Big federal jobs like the wall are few and far between, Gillespie said. A chain link fence with barbed-wire around it will be temporarily constructed when the actual building of the border wall begins to prevent trespassing and attacks on construction workers.

Black Security Products, out of Austin, Texas, designed 4-inch spacing below the bottom of its system to allow animals to pass through, as well as a rip rap (loose stone system) so that water and some small species could traverse the wall.

Such "strategic fencing", he said, would deflect drug and immigrant smugglers away from cities, making them easier to catch.

Several prototypes of the wall will be built on federally controlled land in San Diego.

The winning bids are expected to be announced the first week of June 2017.

He cited "very, very good relationships with the Mexicans, both on their southern border where they stopped 160,000 illegal immigrants from Central America last year". And for one of those company owners, the pushback has been hostile.

For example, how to deal with wildlife, many of them endangered species, who could find their feeding and mating grounds disrupted.

  • Arturo Norris