San Diego

For Border Wall Bidders, Concerns About Security and Safety

The deadline for companies to submit bids for a new wall along the nation's southern border was Tuesday.

Companies that submitted their bids for the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall are raising concerns about security during the building process. 

The deadline for companies to submit bids for a new wall along the nation's southern border was Tuesday. Approximately 20 local companies in San Diego are planning to submit bids in hopes of winning the multi-billion dollar project to build the wall. 

But companies hoping to win the contract are raising concerns about safety during the process. 

Brian Holley, the Executive Vice President of V Scenario, said security concerns are two-fold.

“It's ongoing. On one side the worry is that protesters can turn violent,” Holley said during a phone interview. “I'm sure drug cartels won't be happy with a new wall either.”

The winning bidders must lay out security plans, including evacuation routines, muster area, medical staff members and more, in the event of a hostile attack, according to an Associated Press report. Whoever wins the bid will be required to have a chain link fence with barbed wire around the construction site as well.

“I think the government will step up to the plate and provide security, if not we as a company will provide it for our workers,” Holley said.

Christian Ramirez, a San Diego immigration activist with Alliance San Diego, said companies should expect protests around or near construction sites, but not violence.

“We've always carried our message peacefully and within the framework of the constitution,” said Ramirez. “The border has been turned into a sort of political theater. I’m taken aback by the fact that companies are linking our concerns to possible violence.”

At least one bidding company asked about having employees carry firearms in states that have strict gun control laws, according to an AP report. They also inquired about whether the government would indemnify them if they were to use deadly force.

The Border Patrol said companies would not receive special treatment or extra security protection during the construction process. It also added that winning bidders would have to provide their own security.

The winning bids are expected to be announced the first week of June 2017.

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