New section of border wall

A Border Patrol vehicle drives next to a section of the new 30-foot wall along the U.S.-Mexico border near a port of entry in San Luis.

SAN LUIS — The first section of President Trump’s border wall in Arizona is rising near Yuma.

After years of crowds shouting “build the wall” at political rallies and countless condemnations of the wall as xenophobic or a “vanity project” for Trump, the wall has taken the shape of square, metal poles jutting 30 feet up from the ground in San Luis, a border town south of Yuma.

As early as this month, similar poles could rise along the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and across the San Pedro River.

Despite the wall being the centerpiece of the Trump administration’s immigration agenda, relatively few details about it were announced publicly. Instead, information has come in dribs and drabs from documents disclosed in a federal lawsuit and terse news releases.

Questions remain about whether a wall across the San Pedro River would have sluice gates to allow water to pass through, or whether the gaps between the poles would be big enough to let animals migrate on Cabeza Prieta and Organ Pipe.

The view from up close shows the wall in San Luis dwarfing the panel fencing it replaced, which stood 10 to 15 feet high.

A finger’s-length space between the poles allows Border Patrol agents to watch activity on the south side of the wall and lets air through, but little else. Metal plates on top of the poles are designed to thwart climbers. Tunnel diggers would have to go down about 6 feet, judging by the depth of an open trench dug for the foundation of the wall.

In contrast with the reddish coloring of shorter poles installed on the Arizona border over the last decade or so, the wall in San Luis is so dark it almost gives off a bluish hue.

So far, the wall stretches for about 10 miles along the border on the east side of San Luis.

When the 26-mile project is completed, it will extend farther east into the desert and farther west to the port of entry that connects San Luis with its Mexican counterpart, San Luis Rio Colorado.

On Wednesday morning, heavy machinery was flattening earth and removing panel fencing across the street from a neighborhood in San Luis Rio Colorado that fronts the border.

A guard wearing a cloth mask with a rifle slung by his side kept an eye on the construction from the U.S. side of the street a few miles east of the downtown port of entry.

Closer to the port of entry, drivers jockeyed for position in a seemingly endless line of vehicles as they waited to cross into San Luis, where they would be greeted by a hub of stores catering to Mexican shoppers and travelers. A woman sold hot dogs out of a gleaming metal cart and a few men sold trinkets to the waiting drivers. A handful of taxi drivers waited in the shade and called out to people walking into Mexico.

Schoolchildren were walking to and from the port of entry on Wednesday.

In a few months, Mexican workers will start walking through the port of entry on their way to the fields north of San Luis, where they will pick most of the lettuce and other leafy greens eaten during the winter months in the United States.

Just a few feet from the right-hand side of the vehicles waiting to enter the United States, but virtually invisible to the drivers, 10 rows of razor-sharp concertina wire were set on the ground on the north side of the fence.

This is the area where thousands of migrant families have climbed the border fence in the last year, and where the 30-foot wall eventually will be built.

The families generally surrender to agents and claim asylum after fleeing violence, corruption and poverty in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Due to a U.S. policy of allowing only a few people to claim asylum each day at a port of entry, nearly 1,000 people are on a wait list in San Luis Rio Colorado to get their turn to start the asylum process, The Associated Press reported in July.

In November, a group of 82 people, mostly families from Guatemala, climbed the panel fence. A few hours later, 83 people from Guatemala and El Salvador crossed in the same area after digging a hole under the fence, according to the Border Patrol.

Other cases involved hundreds of people at a time, including crossings along the nearby Colorado River.

More than 50,000 migrants traveling as families surrendered to Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents from October to July, according to Border Patrol statistics. That was more than four times the 10,700 apprehended from October 2017 to July 2018, which was a marked increase from the previous year.

“Coordinated smuggling of large numbers of Central Americans is taking place daily here in Yuma Sector,” Anthony Porvaznik, chief patrol agent in the Yuma Sector, said in an October news release. “They show flagrant disregard for the laws of our country and are exploiting our need for improved border wall infrastructure.”

The Border Patrol came under fire in recent months after reports from news outlets and government inspectors showed migrants were housed in overcrowded, filthy facilities in Texas.

In June, a tent-like structure was built outside the Border Patrol station in Yuma to house the families.

The “soft-sided facility” in Yuma, which cost $15 million and can house up to 500 people, will remain open for at least four months.

Porvaznik said plans are in the works to build a permanent structure at the Yuma station to house families.

During a visit by reporters and officials Thursday morning, the Yuma facility had considerable empty space, but that could change quickly if more migrant families come to the Yuma area.

Dozens of children and their parents whiled away the hours on gray sleeping mats. The rustle of thin, metallic blankets was almost as loud as the roar of air-conditioning units.

A few kids played hide-and-seek, but most of them were tucked in with their parents. They poked their heads up from blankets to watch the gaggle of reporters and officials. A few returned waves and smiles.

In a separate area of the structure, flyers listed languages for migrants to choose, a recognition that many migrants from Central America speak indigenous dialects, rather than Spanish.

Shelves lined the walls with bins containing baby food, baby bottles, diapers, wipes, sanitary pads, and other assorted items. A separate room had rows of showers.

Other shelves had instant noodles, animal crackers, goldfish crackers and snack mix, while more shelves held underwear, socks, T-shirts and assorted clothing.

Rows of computers were set up on tables to process the migrants.

A bin on one table was labeled “MPP complete,” a reference to the Migrant Protection Protocols used to make migrants wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed.

San Luis is slated to join several border towns in Texas and California where the program is already in place.

The plan

So far, public information on construction contracts for the border wall is a hodgepodge of vague locations and costs.

The Department of Homeland Security estimates each mile of 30-foot wall will cost about $20 million, but that likely will vary depending on terrain, road access and other factors.

Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. was awarded a $187 million contract to build 11 miles of wall in the Yuma area, the Army Corps of Engineers announced in April.

Southwest Valley Constructors, based in Albuquerque, was awarded a $646 million contract in May to build the wall in the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, which includes Cabeza Prieta, Organ Pipe and the San Pedro River.

Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Thursday in San Luis that Customs and Border Protection had developed a plan to build walls in areas “prioritized by agents on the ground, based on vulnerabilities on the border and the traffic that we’re seeing crossing the border.”

After an inquiry to CBP, a spokesman forwarded an Aug. 2 border wall status report that showed $6.2 billion has been appropriated by Congress or reprogrammed from the Defense and Treasury departments since January 2017 to build about 330 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

So far, about 55 miles of border fencing has been built.

The border had 319 miles of pedestrian fencing and 280 miles of vehicle barriers built before January 2017, according to the report.

The plan is to build 86 miles of primary wall, 24 miles of levee wall and 14 miles of secondary wall, as well as replace about 60 miles of dilapidated fencing and 144 miles of vehicle barriers.

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(38) comments

Sonny

Commander Dot, I was not talking smack or trying to offend you. They could rally and the Dodgers could go on a loosing streak. Diamond Backs are my team too and so are the Cardinals.

deaton

Sonny, No offense taken, the D-Backs are where they are because they’re playing .500 ball [huh] LA is playing championship ball, as much as I dislike them [censored] maybe the trade deadline trades will help! But, we’re running out of season rapidly. Back to the game! [thumbup][beam] DOT Commander

VA172

I watch the D-Backs when we are in LHC. Right now I'm a Twins fan as I'm originally from MN. We enjoy coming back here for the summers. Being on a lake near Brainerd gives me the opportunity to fish for walleyes. And of course not have to live in the heat of 100+ degree summers. Best of both worlds. Be back home in Oct.

deaton

The “Twins” very competitive team, 1st place AL Central and will be playing in October! I just don’t understand the designated hitter, to me pitchers should have to bat! Thanks for having my Six here in TNH comments! Our old “Devil Dog” Rovr, is sleep deprived and Crankier then normal!

HwyRovr

"losing"

tomgarven

[beam]

tomgarven

Correction - Amazon making $11 BILLION in profits.

tomgarven

Lots of good comments. I also don't think the $1000.00 per month will ever see the light of day either with the Repubs controlling half of Congress. Actually I would prefer to see more people working and more jobs coming back to America instead of the $1000.00 per month. But he may have more insight into how fast manufacturing by robots will increase unemployment rates. Of course who is in charge usually changes every 4 or 8 years anyway, ha ha.

What I find appealing about him is how well he seems to connects with the crowd when he is speaking in public. Obama could deliver a really good speech. But we will see how he does in the debates. What I also like is that he seems willing at least at this point in time, to make sure businesses pay their fair share of taxes. He frowns on things like Amazon making $11 in profits and paying $00.00 in taxes. Wouldn't it be nice if the 60 other corporations who made billions in profits paid at least a flat tax of about 15%. Corporate America can keep all their accelerated depreciation, expense write off, employee perks, stock options to CEO's but in any case they' would never pay less than 15% in taxes. Seems fair to me - how about you?

I also haven't heard much talk about revising our tax code yet and that needs to be done if we are ever going to get our financial mess under control. We can not continue to build debt endlessly. Sooner or later we are going to run out of money to pay just the interest payments - then what?

Also need to fix our medical system. We spend more than most other countries for worse care. And Medicare for All is NOT free. There are annual deductibles, copays and supplemental policies to be paid for. And we couldn't even get our younger generations to pay something like $60/mo. for insurance under Obama Care. I don't think ANYONE has a solution figured out. Drug prices should certainly be a part of the conversation.

Thanks you all for the excellent comments. Can't wait for the real debates to begin.

JVW

Thank you Tom for your posts especially the one on April 23, 2019. We need to get back to reality.

tomgarven

[smile]

Sonny

That reminds me, I have to check on my Amazon order for tomorrow delivery. Click and it is here even on Sundays[smile]

tomgarven

Anyone have a favorite yet amongst the Dems running for President. Andrew Yang is young, energetic, smart and business savvy. Might be a better choice than some politician who says whatever is necessary to get our votes. He might have a chance of beating Trump. As far as Bernie and Joe are concerned they are far too old to capture my vote and Bernie if falling off in the polls anyway. Joe is having a really hard time holding it together on the campaign trail. Too many gaffs which indicates to me his older age is really starting to hurt his campaign. Brain function does decrease with age.

Time to retire Joe for the good of the country.

Anyway I almost never post anything political. What do they say - never discuss religion and politics. I just violated that old saying didn't I. Have a great day everyone.

JVW

Tom. I leaning Yang, He's Promising a $1000's a month.

HwyRovr

"am", "$1,000"

deaton

Tom, It’s my opinion the whole DIM field are WACKO! Also, A. Wang’s “Basic minimum income” of $1,000 per month will cost $4.2 TRILLION per year. WHO’S going to pay for that???? [thumbdown][scared] Commander DOT

VA172

Hwy is upset again. Having comments deleted he doesn't like.


Comment deleted.
tomgarven

Yup totally agree VA172. Math problems I once did without a calculator were a breeze at 50. Now in my late 70's I have to reach for my calculator, ha ha.

Sonny

Diamondbacks are only 19 games behind[sleep]

deaton

Sonny I know, their a .500 team “win one, lose one” but their my team and I’m sticking with them! [thumbdown][sad] Commander DOT

HwyRovr

"they're" - twice

HwyRovr

Always backing losers. Politics, sports, it doesn't seem to matter, in your world "Losers 'R' Us.".


VA172

I see dim-wit is correcting grammar again.


HwyRovr

I see the weak-minded still need English lessons.

Mr Lemons

Great to see progress being made on building the wall. Another promise being fulfilled for all Americans. My only complaint is that it isn't being built faster, but we know whose fault that it is.

HwyRovr

"Promise?" The "promise was "MEXICO WILL PAY FOR THE WALL!" Why do DOTs keep ignoring that promise, along with these -



1) He promised he would replace the ACA – called Obamacare by the intellectually stunted - and it would cost us less and cover more people. However insurance companies are telling us with the abandonment of the individual mandate, rates are already increasing by 30% to 40% per year and will cover fewer people.



2) He promised he would release his taxes after he took office. He hasn't yet released them and is threatening to “sue Congress” to prevent the American people seeing the truth. What is he hiding?



3) He promised he would solve our trade deficit. After launching his trade wars, our trade deficit surged to an all time high.



4) He promised he would solve the budget deficit. Instead it has already doubled under his so-called leadership.



5) He promised us a better deal with Iran. But under the "new Trump deal" Iran can pursue nukes TODAY. And now he is lying (no surprise there) in hopes of leading us into yet another war.



6) Admittedly he did promise during the campaign that if we voted for Hillary, we'd have a president constantly under Federal investigation. And in that, he was correct.





Comment deleted.
HwyRovr

Commander Dot, what "childish insults?" You mean the ones you and the other DOTs use? Why is it none of you can ever explain why the taxpayers should pay for the wall the fool promised would be paid for by Mexico?


Comment deleted.
HwyRovr

Point proven, as usual. Thank you.

HavasuGuy

Why don't you just admit it, all he promised was that white people would be able to express their hate more openly. Of course not all white people hate, just the ones who are afraid of losing their "white privilege". For the record, I am white and I don't hate. He said whatever he needed to and continues to say it in order to get his votes.

deaton

HG, I’ve heard a lot about this so called “White Privilege” lately. Where can I get some of this “White Privilege”? I don’t know that I’ve ever had any of it? Also if you know what “White Privilege” is, could you bring me up to date on exactly what it is? If it’s any good maybe I can get some! Thanks in advance HG, you have a great afternoon! Say Hi to Rovr for me. [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT


VA172

"He said whatever he needed to and continues to say it in order to get his votes." Kind of sounds like all the Democratic candidates. promising all the free stuff. Who is going to pay for all that? How many of those promises will actually be kept?


HwyRovr

Money taken away from our military to build an ego edifice for a mad man. And what happened to "MEXICO WILL PAY FOR THE WALL".

deaton

Every time Rovr every time you take the bait! Even after I told you that you’re being “TROLLED” I don’t care who pays for the WALL! It’s being built! Perhaps you should drive down to the Yuma San Luis port of entry and supervise the construction. Everyone is aware of your vast knowledge about EVERYTHING as we see it here on a daily basis. You have a pleasant afternoon Bob [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT! See you on your next “comment”

Comment deleted.
deaton

Ha, Rovr! I guess you told me “a thing or two”! Hey everyone, did ROVR cause you to recognize my “nonsense”. I think he’s talking about all of us DOTs out here who he believes are sad weak-minded, easily manipulated folks in that huge “basket of deplorable’s”. Rovr, you have to admit the lying D-D, is getting the “big beautiful WALL” BUILT! [thumbup][beam]. Commander DOT


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HwyRovr

Ahh, look at you! Posting utter trash again. I still enjoy and laugh at the goofy ravings of Commander Dot and his two sad little minions. And I see you've learned a new word, "windbag." Good for you, each of us should make it a point to learn something new every day.

Comment deleted.
deaton

VA172, I’m glad I provide so much laughter and enjoyment for Rovr! He seems to find little in life to be to be happy about? He’s always up in the middle of the night staring into a “device screen” banging on a keyboard, slinging disparaging remarks and insults in every direction to a very small audience. I wonder how many people even read this stuff here in the TNH? I generally reply while watching the D Backs on TV. I will give Rovr credit that his comments are, in most cases, thought out. I just happen to disagree with all of them. Keep smiling and laughing Rovr! [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT


HwyRovr

Yes, I took the bait because you have assured us that you would keep “posting nonsense” and I want to make certain everyone is privy to your nonsense. Why don’t you care “who pays for the wall?” Actual Americans want the lying, racist, draft-dodging loser to live u to his promise – you remember, the one you shouted like a demented parrot, “ACK, MEXICO WILL PAY FOR THE WALL, ACK.” And thank you for thinking “I know everything.” I don’t, but it is reassuring to know the weak-minded think I do.

HwyRovr

Commander DOT having posts deleted that he doesn't agree with.


JVW

rovR. Why do Police stations have fences around them, to keep people in or out?


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