Homeland Security chief backtracks on splitting families

Caroline Beck
April 13, 2017

One potential bidder on President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico wanted to know if authorities would rush to help if workers came under 'hostile attack'.

In his testimony for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Kelly said fewer than 12,500 people were caught crossing the border illegally last [in March].

Kelly said the blueprint budget includes $2.6 billion for high-priority border security technology and tactical infrastructure, including funding to plan, design and construct the border wall.

He said that the topography in places like Big Bend meant there would be other types of a virtual wall such as airborne surveillance. "It's frustrating to me", McCaskill said. Everybody in Congress knows it's not going to happen. "It's not going to happen". A USA government official who preferred to remain anonymous stated that "four to 10 bidders are expected to be chosen to build prototypes" in San Diego, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Later in the hearing, Kelly explored other reasons why he thinks that fewer people are crossing the southwest border into the US, which include improving economic conditions in migrants' home countries and rising prices charged by coyotes helping to smuggle people across the border. "I have a lot of elbow room", he added. The department is still in an early phase of the process ― contractor submissions for border wall prototype proposals ended at the end of Tuesday.

"Is the president okay with fencing?" We need to protect the Southwest border in any way that that makes sense. "I haven't determined what the wall will look like or where it will be", Kelly said.

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"Physical barriers work", Kelly asserted, but he said in talking with Customs and Border Protection managers on the ground, he heard from them that physical barriers may not work in some areas along the rugged landscape along the southern border.

Kelly said that the success at the border is due to the "huge amount of cooperation" from Mexicans and local Mexican authorities on both sides of the border, despite the widespread corruption due to trafficking fueled by US drug consumption. "The wall, or physical barrier, something to secure our border".

While the Trump administration has sought to take credit for the decline, those working in shelters and experts on migration said it will take several more months to judge whether any drop-off is lasting, and that the numbers could surge again as quickly as they've fallen.

Fresh data on illegal migrants from Mexico entering the U.S. showed that the number of arrests made in March was the lowest in 17 years, while the overall illegal movement declined by about 71% since December 2016. "March marks the fifth straight month of decline and is estimated to be approximately 71 percent lower than the December 2016 total - 58,478", he said. The wire service says the company's proposal calls for stones and artifacts set in polished concrete, reflecting the areas the wall wends through and rendering both sides "aesthetically pleasing" - unlike the CBP's callout, which asks only that the US side be pleasant to look at.

Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga, chief executive of The Penna Group LLC, a general contractor in Fort Worth, Texas, said he has received about a dozen death threats since publicly expressing interest in bidding, including one from a woman who told him she hired a private investigator to trail him.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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