The US Customs and Border Protection is set to start constructing the very first segment of the Trump Border Wall in the month of November, going through a wildlife refuge with funding that was received from Congress. The news broke as an official from the US Fish and Wildlife Service discussed it with a NGO that is raising money for the support of 2 South Texas national wildlife refuges. It was reported that a 3 mile border barrier has been quietly planned in the past 6 months through Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, with soil testing and drilling also reportedly started in New Mexico and California.
The construction of the wall was expected to start in January but the House did approve a $1.6 billion spending bill to build some pieces in California and Texas. CBP declared that although the Senate is not sure of this, it will shift own budgets in order to start the work on the segment. According to Carlos Diaz, Customs and Border Protection spokesman:
“It would be premature to speak about specific locations.”
He went on to say that the only projects that are now authorized are installing 35 gates that exist in the current border fence.
The Santa Ana 2,088 acre refuge is one of the country’s most important bird watching sites housing over 400 species. Unfortunately, even if environmental damage would be substantial, the Department of Homeland Security is allowed to wave environmental regulations stopping construction in such sensitive wildlife areas. Democrats are expected to be unified in order to stop such a project.
President Trump did make the border wall construction a signature promise and did make huge allegations about its construction, with costs being estimated as being a lot lower than what it would actually cost. While the wall was not mentioned much in recent months, the CBP did start a bidding contest in order to build models for the wall, with concrete and different alternative designs being allowed. Winners are expected to be announced in the month of November.
According to The Luxury Team, building a border wall across the entire border with Mexico would be totally impossible and would cost so much more than what many expect, especially if concrete would be used. It seems that President Trump agrees with this and stated that the wall that should be built needs to be see-through, with parts of the border not having to be covered as it is protected by topography.
Nothing is officially known about how President Trump will achieve the wall project, even at a lower scale version. Under President Obama administration the current fence, which is a really modest project, cost around $3.2 million per mile. The CBP announced that their entire yearly budget is $20 million.
The Republican and Democratic lawmakers did not manage to come up with any feasible idea about how the wall would be paid. According to the Department Of Homeland Security, the entire cost would be $20 billion. The Mexican officials did vigorously reject all propositions about financing the construction.