In Brief

Homeland Security Will Issue Call for US–Mexico Border Wall Prototypes

The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection announced a call “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”

The concrete and steel fence between Nogales, Arizona (at left) and Nogales, Mexico (at right) (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde, via U.S. Army/Wikimedia)

In a notice issued on February 24 on the Federal Business Opportunities site, the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection announced it will open an electronic call on March 6 “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.” Applicants will have just a few days before the deadline of March 10 to send in their proposals, with awards “contemplated for mid-April.”

The US–Mexico border fence at Playas de Tijuana (photo by Eekiv/Wikimedia)

Dezeen points out that the call for Trump’s campaign-promised border wall coincided with the president’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), in which he crowed that the wall was “way, way, way ahead of schedule.” Never mind that Mexico has no plans to pay for it, and any such construction across miles of the border would likely amount to a heavy hit for US taxpayers.

Why only give aspiring wall builders five days to fine-tune and file their proposals? While the project’s civil rights implications and ecological impact alone would be astounding, there remain numerous logistical and ethical issues to address, such as the potential division of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s ancestral land, which straddles the likely route of the proposed wall. Furthermore, the Migration Policy Institute notes that the “funneling of migrants to alternative routes points to one statistic that correlates closely with the construction of more walls: an increase in the number of deaths.” Walls, in other words, will not stop illegal immigration, they will just cause people to find more dangerous paths.

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