The president and CEO of Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. told the Washington Examiner he could build 234 miles of wall on the U.S.-Mexico border for $1.4 billion — if President Donald Trump can get the rulebook and the bureaucracy out of the way. For $4.31 billion, Tommy Fisher said, his company could build the Cadillac version of a border barrier, complete with a high-speed highway on the U.S. side of the wall for Border Patrol agents and the latest in technology to help detect migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally.
“Our whole point is to break through the government bureaucracy,” Fisher told the Examiner. “If they do the small procurements as they are now … that’s not going to cut it.”
Trump has $1.375 billion in wall funding available, but Congress tied a string to the funding so that it can be used only in the Rio Grande Valley. Fisher said that for $1.4 billion he could build the 20 miles required in the Rio Grande Valley, plus another 214 miles of wall. He said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that the work could be completed by the 2020 election.
Fisher said he would build a levee wall in the valley. The money Congress appropriated funds steel slat fencing.
The 234 miles of wall Fisher wants to build would last for 75 to 80 years, he said. He said he could get the work done because he moved quickly when it became apparent that a steel wall would be preferable.
“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you can get behind this,” Fisher said on “Fox & Friends.”
“If you need it done now — nothing against government bureaucracy, but it takes time — so you need an expert to come in there and do it now and do it right,” he said.
Trump is seeking $8 billion overall for the wall project, including $3.1 billion from reallocated defense funding and $3.6 billion from his emergency declaration. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas, recently spoke to The Daily Signal about the need for a border barrier.
“Wall, fence, barrier. It is absolutely critical,” Burgess said.
He said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “stood up in front of a microphone after the president gave his Oval Office address. She and (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer did kind of what looked like to be a hostage video in the Capitol. But she said, ‘We want sensors, and we want to be able to detect when someone has crossed our border.’ No. With all respect to the speaker, we want to prevent someone from crossing our border.
“It does us no good to detect it, and then a week later, we can get someone out there to see where it was that they crossed. That’s not helpful when you’ve got numbers to the degree that we’ve got.
“And, look, I don’t minimize the problems that people are having in other countries. But I will say this, the United States. … First off, we’re the most generous country on the face of the earth when it comes to immigration: 1.1 million people a year come into this country legally.
“And people shouldn’t forget that because we’re oftentimes branded as being heartless, putting a ‘closed’ sign up on the State of Liberty. No. We are the most welcoming country on the face of the earth. All of the other countries combined do not allow the people in that we allow in.”
Burgess also suggested that as long as Central American nations are the source of so much illegal immigration, they should pay a price.
“Their governments are corrupt. They don’t do the work that is required to protect their people, and their people get hurt. And so they decide to come north,” he said.
“I have introduced a bill for a couple of Congresses that said, ‘We are sending you foreign aid generously, courtesy of the taxpayers of America. If you are not willing to do the job to take care of your children, when we end up taking care of them on our side of the border in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement … it’s an expensive venture. … We are going to charge you a surcharge per child,” Burgess said. “No, we know you’ll never pay the bill. We’ll just deduct it from your foreign aid check. It will be smaller when it arrives.”
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