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Texas Border Wall Faces Lack of Land and High Construction Cost

2021-09-17T21:10:02.846Z

The governor has raised more than 54 million in donations and the Assembly will allocate another 788 million but the total cost would be much higher and would also require that the owners offer their land at the border.



The border wall that the Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, promised to build on the border with Mexico continues to collect citizen donations, already has a state budget to start the work, and has the cession of land from hundreds of landowners, although all this does not seem sufficient to overcome the enormous legal and economic obstacles.

Abbott created a website in June to receive donations that as of August 31 had raised $ 54 million. 

However, an existing contract from the state Department of Transportation was scheduled to pay $ 25 million in June for nearly two miles of concrete wall near the border.

And the cost of the barrier planned by former President Donald Trump ranged from $ 6 million to $ 34 million per mile.

Texas has 733 miles of the border with Mexico that could need a barrier according to the governor's office, so the total cost could range between $ 4.4 billion and $ 25 billion. 

The state Assembly approved on Wednesday the allocation of 1.88 billion dollars in additional funds for border security, with 788 million destined for the construction of the border wall, as well as concrete barriers and temporary fences.

Abbott also pledged $ 250 million in state money to start the effort.

Pedestrians cross the border between Mexico and the United States on the Paso del Norte International Bridge that links Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

State authorities took another step this week by awarding an $ 11 million contract to firms Michael Baker International Inc. and Huitt-Zollars to oversee the project.

The companies will

manage the budget and identify land

needed to build the wall.

Michael Baker International Inc. helped build more than 500 miles of the current 654-mile wall between Mexico and the United States, while Huitt-Zollars has designed several entry points.

[A judge prohibits turning away families with children at the border without allowing them to apply for asylum under Title 42]

Finding available space to build the wall is the project's other major obstacle:

so far, more than 120 landowners near the border have agreed

to allow the state to place a temporary fence on their properties, according to the Washington information website. Examiner. 

Most live in Val Verde County and will allow an eight-foot-high metal fence and barbed wire to be put up, a senior adviser to the governor said.

Haitian migrants remain crowded in Texas waiting for a solution to their immigration situation

Sept.

15, 202101: 34

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a professor at George Mason University, believes that the amount raised by Abbott is striking due to the failures of other similar calls.

When Arizona tried to raise funds for a border wall, it only raised $ 270,000 in three years. 

 "It is surprising in a way that people are using their money to finance a project like this understanding the fact that

in the recent past efforts like this had resulted in fraud,

" adds Correa-Cabrera in an interview with The Texas Tribune.

The conservative organization We Build The Wall raised private funds for a border wall and included former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon as a board member.

Bannon and Brian Kolfage, the group's leader, were accused by the federal government of looting the charity for their own benefit in August 2020. Trump pardoned Bannon.

"We don't care": Migrants challenge Texas governor after his announcement to build a wall and arrest those who cross the border without papers

June 11, 202101: 45

"

Building a wall is not going to protect the nation from drug trafficking, from the entry of drugs

from the south of the continent, and it will not prevent the arrival of immigrants to the southern United States," added Correa-Cabrera.

The wall is, in his opinion, “something symbolic”.  

The landowners who are offering their land, for instance, live in a remote region of south-central Texas known as Del Rio, which is a key crossover point, with 144,500 immigrant arrests between February and July. 

Texas and Mexico share 1,254 miles of common border and are linked by 28 international bridges and border crossings, according to state data.

AP

Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze told The Washington Examiner that landowners are not being compensated or incentivized in any way in exchange for cooperating.

"

The incentive is to secure their lands and our southern border

," he added. 

[About 90,000 migrants remain stranded on Mexico's southern border.

They are mostly Haitians]

Renae Eze, an Abbott spokeswoman, told The Texas Tribune that the governor is grateful for the support of the state and the entire country as the state government "fills the void created by President [Joe] Biden and takes a step forward to secure our southern border. "

With information from The Texas Tribune, The Washington Examiner, and USA Today. 

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-09-17

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