On Wednesday, US Customs and Border Protection officers have begun replacing the border wall in Calexico, California with a 30-foot-high, bollard-style wall. The construction is said to cover a 2.25 portion of the fence separating Mexico from the United States. This is the first wall contract issued by the Trump administration aside of the eight prototypes that were built in 2017 in San Diego.
According to the press release, the project will stretch from the Calexico West Port of Entry to beyond the Gran Plaza Outlets, an area that is known as the El Centro Sector.
“The El Centro Sector wall replacement is one of Border Patrol’s highest priority projects,” the release said on Wednesday.
The press release continued by pointing out to the original fence’s old design, made out of recycled scraps of metal and old landing mat. According to the CBP, the El Centro Sector is well-known for its frequent waves of drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
In 2017, CBP agents reportedly captured over 18 thousand illegal aliens and seized 5.554 pounds of marijuana, 483 pounds of cocaine, 1,526 pounds of methamphetamine, and 2,521 ounces of heroin.
The El Centro Sector is located in the southern region of California in the Imperial Valley. Four border patrol stations are responsible for covering 70 miles of the border.
The Trump administration is currently seeking for $18 billion to extend the border wall. President Trump cleared the way for construction in September by dismissing dozens of environmental reviews in Calexico.
The state of California and major environmental advocacy organizations have sued the administration over the waivers. US District Judge, Gonzalo Curiel, is expected to rule soon on whether the border wall lawsuit will go forward or not.
Construction of the border wall was arguably the main pledge during Donald Trump’s campaign. One of Trump’s first executive orders ever since he took office in January 2017 was to initiate the border wall project.
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