Fourteen miles of new border wall is scheduled to be constructed in the Laredo Sector where no physical infrastructure currently exists. Construction will begin in January 2021, officials reported. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the awarding of a contract to build approximately 14 miles of contiguous new border wall systems in the Laredo Sector along the Rio Grande. Currently, the Laredo Sector is wide open with no physical barriers to stop illegal border crossings. There are approximately 110 river miles of border in the Laredo Sector, Border Patrol officials previously told Breitbart Texas. The contract awarded on Friday calls for the construction of a 30-foot steel bollard wall system, all-weather access roads, lighting, and enforcement surveillance equipment. The border wall system will create a “complete enforcement zone,” CBP officials said in a written statement. Caddell Construction Company, (DE) LLC received the $275 million award to build the new border wall system. Officials sad the funding comes from FY 2020 appropriations approved by Congress. “The Laredo Sector is an area of high illegal activity, with over 21,000 illegal alien apprehensions and over 19,000 pounds of drugs seized this FY to date,” CBP officials stated. “The majority of its activity is occurring in areas where Laredo Sector lacks infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology. These projects will improve Laredo Sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations.” In an interview in April, Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez told Breitbart Texas that the sector is unique in that migrants crossing the border here are not looking to be apprehended like most other sectors. He explained the lack of physical infrastructure makes it challenging for agents to maintain operational control of the area and dangerous for migrants crossing the border illegally. “We are inches away from the heat of summer,” Chief Chavez explained. “Crossing the river here is very dangerous as the lake continues to release water creating deadly currents. The desert-like ranches in this sector are dangerous and present a great risk for injury or death to the migrants being smuggled around checkpoints. Then, add the dangers of COVID-19 on top of all of that.” “We have carried out more than 1,400 rescues during this fiscal year (which began October 1, 2019),” he explained. “Illegal border crossings are down, deaths are down, but rescues are up.” So far this fiscal year, Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 24,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico. That number is up from more than 22,222 during the same period last year.
Some good progress on this issue. But, it’s still taking far to long to get contracts approved, and construction to begin. Securing our southern border needs to be our #1 domestic national security priority. Period. This whole Wuhan virus crisis only adds to the urgency of it.