First-ever 18-foot Private Border Wall Built in New Mexico
Organizers say the sections as built faster and more cheaply than the government
A private group has announced the construction of a half-mile wall along a section of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico in what it said was the first in the border debate.
Similar to the designs used by the Border Patrol, the 18-foot steel bollard wall seals off a part of the border that had been a striking gap in existing fencing, according to We Build the Wall, the group behind the new section.
Organizers say the sections as built faster and more cheaply than the government has been able to manage in recent years.
The former secretary of state in Kansas and an informal immigration adviser to President Trump, Kris Kobach, stated he the New Mexico project has the president’s blessings.
He adds that the local Border Patrol agents are eager to have the assistance.
“We’re closing a gap that’s been a big headache for them,” said Mr. Kobach, who is general counsel for We Build the Wall.
The announcement comes amid a critical time for the border.
Trump's plans took a hit after a U.S. District Court judge partially blocked part of his emergency declaration and shifting of money within the Pentagon.
Judge Haywood Gilliam insists Trump cannot spend money when Congress has debated it and refused to approve it.
But We Build the Wall says it has proved it can build a border wall.
The group has eyes on other areas where private landowners hold borderlands and want a barrier to limit the illegal traffic across their property.
According to The Washington Times: The new wall begins at the Rio Grande and runs up to the lower elevations of Mount Cristo Rey.
The wall on the Texas side ends at the river, and there used to be a gap on the New Mexico side running from the river over to Mount Cristo Rey.
Two parking lots, one on the Mexican side and one on the U.S. side, with naught but a ditch to separate them, offered a convenient staging point for would-be migrants.
Mr. Kobach says agents have told him perhaps 100 migrants a night cross — but the more significant obstacle is that they would cross, gaining agents’ attention, then drug smugglers would use the perplexity to run drugs through elsewhere in the gap.
A typical night could exceed $100,000 worth of drugs through the gap, Mr. Kobach said.
Construction began Friday and will be completed Tuesday. Tommy Fisher’s Fisher Sand & Gravel did the installation.
Mr. Fisher has been in the news recently with Mr. Trump, suggesting repeatedly and publicly that the government should consider his outfit for future border wall construction.
He was one of the contractors selected in 2017 to build wall prototypes in San Diego.
None of those prototypes was deemed contract-worthy, and Congress has forbidden the Border Patrol from using any of those designs anyway.
More recently, Mr. Fisher declared he could build 234 miles of fencing at $1.4 billion — or about $6 million per mile.
That’s almost a quarter of the cost of Mr. Trump’s current fencing, which goes off at about $25 million per mile.
The half-mile in New Mexico cost $8 million, but Mr. Kobach said because part of it involved building on Mount Cristo Rey and involved moving a lot of dirt, that’s more expensive than most mileage would be.
A private wall has been a dream of border security enthusiasts for years.
More than a decade ago, adherents of the Minuteman movement, which endeavored to draw attention to the lack of border barriers in Arizona, constructed some fencing on a ranch in southeastern Arizona.
The fencing was supported by local authorities as a way to corral cattle but was also seen as a way of blocking illegal migration, The Arizona Daily Star reported in 2006.
Organizers said funding didn’t materialize to finish that project.
The new wall in New Mexico is up along the border and designed just like the Border Patrol’s structures, intended to be a deterrent to the illegal crossing.