Border turns quiet under Trump amid steep drop in arrests

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Border wall contractors brace for hostile environment

The deadline for bids for President Donald Trump's multi-billion dollar border wall with Mexico has passed. Congressional Republicans have estimated a more moderate price tag of $12 billion to $15 billion.

He submitted designs for a concrete wall and a wall made of other materials, using strong materials to protect the barrier from a vehicle bomb or suicide vest.

It's impossible to avoid: For a man bidding to build a massive wall, Rod Hadrian has a rather serendipitous name.

The National Park Service is planning a yearlong project to rehabilitate an historic building in Santa Fe. Also, the structure can not interfere with cross-border waterways, including the Rio Grande River, under a 1947 treaty with Mexico. Last month fewer than 1,000 children were caught at the border and fewer than 1,100 people traveling as families were found.

Erwin says his office wants to keep as many people in the country as they can but legally.

"This is an epic project", he said. Preventing tunnels must be taken into account, too.

In addition to political concerns, companies interested in working on the wall face potential legal challenges, as well.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the proposal of Illinois-based Michael Hari, whose wall would feature a Great Wall-style pedestrian walkway atop a 26-foot concrete barrier.

The government is seeking in its specifications published on March 17, designs for 30 feet tall, made of concrete, and tamper-proof from a sledgehammer or Oxy/acetylene torch, plus designs for two chain link fences, and aesthetically pleasing.

Beyond that, the department is looking for ideas.

Aside from this theoretical war with Mexico, the company's proposal says the wall would be lined with fiber sensors that alert authorities when someone is trying to climb it.

However, Democratic senators wanted even more details about the forthcoming border wall.

"I feel like I can get some sleep", he said Tuesday afternoon, on the phone from Kabul, Afghanistan, where his company is installing perimeter security for a Department of Defense site.

Despite their common goal, the companies submitting bids have followed some radically different paths in their approach.

It's probably quite "media elite" of us to say "I told you so", no matter how good it feels.

"Nobody wants to hear about a kid dying on the wall", he said.

While the Tulsa lawyer says the decrease in illegal immigrants is a positive change, he says there's still a long ways to go. "Not many people could channel the right message" to build the public support necessary to avoid conflict, he said.

Despite the blackout, a few construction companies have been forthcoming about their designs. The concept creates an access road along the border of the four states next to Mexico, then uses the roadway's bed for erecting the wall.

Where physical barriers wouldn't work, border agents have employed vehicle barriers.

Several groups have said they plan to protest, so bidders have been asked to demonstrate experience "executing high-profile, high-visibility and politically contentious" projects.

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