Courtesy of The Epoch Times.
A builder from North Dakota is offering to put up 234 miles of border walls on the U.S.-Mexico border for $1.4 billion, approximately 80 percent less expensive than the projected cost for the government to build the project.ADVERTISING
Tommy Fisher, the president and CEO of Fisher Sand and Gravel Company, told the Washington Examiner that the government is paying too much for the wall. Fisher said that for $4.31 billion he would build the wall featuring paved roads, border technology, and a warranty.
“Our whole point is to break through the government bureaucracy,” Fisher told the Washington Examiner. “If they do the small procurements as they are now … that’s not going to cut it.
Congress approved some $1.4 billion in funding for 55 miles of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley, far short of President Donald Trump’s request of $5.7 billion. Fisher said that the $1.4 billion could be used to build the 55 miles in the Rio Grande Valley and an additional 214 miles of walls elsewhere. The funds allotted by Congress can only be used in the Rio Grande Valley.
After Congress failed to deliver the $5.7 billion requested by the president and the Department of Homeland Security, Trump shifted $3.1 billion from the Treasury and defense departments toward wall construction. The president also declared a national emergency, clearing the way to reallocate an additional $3.6 billion from the military budget.
As Trump predicted, the emergency declaration was challenged in court. The court challenge does not affect the $3.1 billion shifted from the Treasury and defense departments, bringing the effective border funding total to some $4.5 billion.
A representative with the Army Corps of Engineers told the Washington Examiner that the department has not yet requested bids from the private sector.
A Fisher Industries video shows a border wall proposal, which includes roads elevated on mounds. Border patrol agents could drive up to the elevations to surveil the territory on the Mexico side of the border, the video suggests.
“Our wall will provide protection for all Americans, but our proposal is more than just a wall—it’s infrastructure for border agents,” Fisher Sand and Gravel wrote on Twitter.
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) toured Fisher Industries in July last year along with Kelly Armstrong, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives. Armstrong praised Fisher for his knowledge about the project.
Cramer and Armstrong viewed the Fisher Industries patented concrete wall forming system, which allows for concrete to be poured on site of the wall construction.
“Here at Fisher Industries in Dickinson ND, I tested just how easy it is to install a panel of wall myself. It’s time to secure our border once and for all,” Cramer wrote on Twitter.
Last year, Cramer co-sponsored the Border Wall Trust Fund Act, which would allow American citizens to donate funds toward construction of the border wall.
In May last year, Fisher presented his border wall construction plan to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who was then the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
During the same month, Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. announced the purchase of 1,075 acres of property along the Mexico border in southern California.
Illegal border crossings spiked even higher in February this year with more than 66,000 apprehensions, according to Customs and Border Protection data. In January, the number was almost 48,000.
So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol has apprehended almost 268,000 people at the southwest border. The numbers are on target to reach beyond 640,000 for the fiscal year.
Although the numbers are not as high as the 2005 surge when around 1.5 million people were apprehended, the demographics of the current border crossers are markedly more complicated, said Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings on March 5.
He said historically 70 to 90 percent of Border Patrol arrests were Mexican nationals, who could be quickly returned to Mexico. Now, however, 70 percent of all apprehensions are from Guatemala, El Salvador, or Honduras.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.