Border wall contractors brace for hostile environment
One potential bidder on President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico wanted to know if authorities would rush to help if workers came under “hostile attack.”
The Associated Press reports another asked if employees can carry firearms in states with strict gun control laws and if the government would indemnify them for using deadly force.With bids due today on the first design contracts, interested companies are preparing for the worst if they get the potentially lucrative job.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details haven’t been made public says four to 10 bidders are expected to be chosen to build prototypes.
They will be constructed on a roughly quarter-mile strip of federally owned land in San Diego within 120 feet of the border, though a final decision has not been made on the precise spot, the official says. The government anticipates spending $200,000 to $500,000 on each prototype.
Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga, chief executive of The Penna Group, a general contractor in Fort Worth, Texas, says he has received about a dozen death threats since publicly expressing interest in bidding, including one from a woman who told him she hired a private investigator to trail him.
Evangelista-Ysasaga says he bid in part because he wants broad immigration reform. Securing the border, he says, is a prerequisite for granting a path to citizenship to millions in the U.S. illegally.
“We didn’t enter this lightly,” he says. “We looked at it and said we have to be a productive part of the solution.”