Tuesday served as the deadline for border wall bids from contractors looking to cash in on government work to make good on president trump’s campaign promise.
According to an AP Report, companies are asking if federal authorities would rush to help if workers came under “hostile attack.” The report said a U.S. Official told contractors “The Border Patrol and local police would establish a buffer zone around the construction site if necessary.” However, contractors are responsible for their own security and the federal government won’t allow waivers from state gun laws or indemnify companies whose workers use deadly force.
The day AP’s report was published, in Washington, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Professor Terence Garrett testified before a full senate committee hearing on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, against the border wall claiming it “will be a waste of public money.” In Dr. Garrett, 20-page testimonial brief, he outlined the current impact of existing border fence, eminent domain and businesses capitalizing on post-9-11 insecurities. Dr. Garrett, used in his testimony, direct quotes from Rio Grande Valley Mayors, Judges, news reports and border patrol officials in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. One of the quotes was from National Border Patrol Council Spokesman Chris Cabrera, “we [United States] came with this 18-foot wall and the very next day they had a 19-foot ladders” The ‘they’ Cabrera referred to in the quote is illegal immigrants and narcotic traffickers. The quote continues to say, “We [Border Patrol Agents] had so many ladders at the station that they [Border Patrol Supervisors] told us to stop bringing the ladders in. It was just insane the number of ladders we had. Hundreds upon hundreds.”
Also testifying at the hearing, former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and border protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, David Aguilar. Former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol at U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Ronald Colburn.
Dr. Garrett’s testimony brief outlined details in the mega profits, companies raked in by building the border fence currently cutting through UTRGV’s Brownsville campus under the Secure Fence Act of 2006. For example, “Boeing SBI-Net profit by receiving “$7.5 million per mile – out of a total of 110 miles – for constructing an 18-foot high fence in the Rio Grande Valley during the period of 2006 to 2009…”
Other stretches of the existing border fences were made possible by eminent domain. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) asked Dr. Garret “is the government likely to run into resistance if the attempt to condemn more property from Texas land owners”
Professor Garrett immediately responded with “almost certainly” and continued to speak on the overwhelming disapproval of the fence and potential wall.
Senator McCaskill continued her questions under the assumption communities with existing border fences have high crime rates, “has the fencing that has been installed in Brownsville, [it] is right on the southern tip of Texas, it must be obviously a dangerous place because it’s so close to the Mexican border, what is the security situation like in Brownsville?
Professor Garrett quickly corrected Sen. McCaskill “Brownsville itself is the least criminal ridden or violent communities in all of Texas, according to the Texas Tribune. They look at U.S. Department of Justice data.
to close out Dr. Garrett’s testimony brief he said “The evidence is from the 9-11 attacks where none of the 19 hijackers came into the USA via the Mexican border and the fact that no known terrorists have ever crossed into the USA using that venue. The overall migration and border security situation in the western hemisphere will worsen before the society of the spectacle and its policy element, the border wall project, is rendered useless.
Full Senate Hearing:
Dr. Terrance Garrett’s written testimony can be found in PDF Format: