Federal officials announced the award of a contract to allow construction of new sections of border walls in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of South Texas. The $145 million construction project is slated to begin in February 2019.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced the award of a contract to build approximately six miles of border walls along the levee system in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, according to information provided to Breitbart News by U.S. Border Patrol officials. The contract, awarded on October 31 to Slsco Ltd, provides $145 million for the project which will begin in February 2019, officials stated.
The project calls for the construction and installation of “tactical infrastructure” to include 18 feet tall steel bollard walls which will be placed on top of reinforced sections of concrete levee walls. Contractors will also create a new “enforcement zone” by removing 150 feet of vegetation along the new wall system.
Included in the “enforcement zone” will be detection technology, lighting systems, video surveillance, and an all-weather road that will run parallel to the levee wall. The roadway will provide Border Patrol agents a pathway to quickly respond to any illegal crossings in the area.
The new border wall system and enforcement zone will provide increased border security capabilities to agents assigned to the McAllen Station, one of the busiest border crossing areas in the nation.
“Once constructed, this levee wall system will serve as a persistent impediment to transnational criminal organizations, while still allowing river access for property owners, other federal/state/local officials, local emergency responders, and USBP,” Border Patrol officials said in a written statement.
The project is authorized by President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13767, officials stated.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas continues to lead the nation in the apprehension of Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), according to the September Southwest Border Migration Report. The sector witnessed a 27 percent increase in the number of FMUAs apprehended in 2018 compared to the previous fiscal year, officials reported. The number of families apprehended jumped from 49,896 in FY2017 to 63,278. The apprehension of UACs in this sector remained relatively flat 23,757 — an increase of 49 minors.
The largest numbers of family units and unaccompanied minors came to the U.S. from Guatemala (50,401 and 22,327 respectively). Honduras came in second with 39,439 family units and 10,913 minors. These were followed by El Salvador and Mexico.