IMPERIAL, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced last month that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for the proposed border wall.
The El Centro sector area was named a priority area where construction of the border wall may begin.Our news cameras went on a tour with border patrol agents to see the condition of the border as it is today.
Border patrol agents showed us various areas of where they patrol and what we learned today is that there are a lot of elements in play when it come to protecting our nation's border.
“The concept for an infrastructure has already been ongoing, we have had a fence for over seven years now, so the whole idea of a new fence coming along, well it’s really going to depend on what that new fence or wall is going to be," said Jonathan Pacheco, Acting Supervisor, U.S. Border Patrol.
Agents are not quite sure how big of difference a new wall or fence will make in the 70 miles of linear border that they patrol.
"Whether it’s going to make a difference or not, there is really nothing we can compare it to at this point and time. So because of that there is really no actual stats that we could go off of," explained Pacheco.
Crossing the border is dangerous and today we were shown how relentless people can be.
“Here we have a perfect example of a rope that tore probably about a quarter of the way from the top to the bottom. Now as you can see this is about a 20 foot fence, which is very high, you know whether the person landed on his feet he could've broken his ankles, landed on his back on his shoulder," added Pacheco.
Though there has not been an exact designation where the border wall construction will begin. There has been speculation that it may start where the 20 foot wall meets a chain of smaller barriers.
“As you can see it wouldn't be very difficult for a person to easily go through and come across, but in this area because over in the Mexican side we don't worry too much about a lot of pedestrian traffic, we worry more about the vehicles themselves," said Pacheco.
Federal contractors that request bids for building the wall will be published on or around March 6. Then the options will be narrowed by customs and border patrol by March 20th and finalists will have to renew their offer with the price attached by March 24th.