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Immigration

CBP Awards Contracts to Build 65 Miles of New Border Wall

People look through the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, Mexico December 15, 2018. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The U.S. government awarded three separate contracts Monday to construct approximately 65 miles of new border wall in the Rio Grande Valley, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The three contracts, totaling in value at just over $812 million, are for a brand-new wall segment, consisting of an 18-30 foot wall, lighting, cameras, and other surveillance technology.

According to the statement, the Rio Grand Valley “is the busiest Sector in the nation and accounts for approximately 40% of the illegal alien apprehensions.” The region, known for its rough terrain and limited access, also ranks first in cocaine and marijuana busts along the southwest border for the fiscal year.

The statement also announced that the projects will not be under the umbrella of President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration, and will not come from Department of Defense funding.

The news comes as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle began to resist Trump’s efforts to unilaterally redirect military funds to build a wall on the southern border. Last week, the Senate, including 11 Republicans, voted to cancel the president’s emergency declaration distinction and, on Friday, moved the bill to Trump’s desk, where it is expected to be vetoed. Congress passed a similar resolution rebuking Trump in March, which the president subsequently vetoed.

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