DHS to Mexico Border Wall Bidders: High-Tech Equipment Alone Won’t Cut It
The Trump administration told contractors bids for the not-yet-funded Mexican barrier that do not include a wall will not be considered.
SAN DIEGO – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told contractors this week that Mexican border wall bids that rely solely on high-tech surveillance equipment and other technology will not be considered for approval.
More than 700 bidding companies have registered on FedBizOpps, the government’s contract site, to submit proposals to help build or design the wall, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Originally due Wednesday, the 10-page bids for a concrete wall or a non-concrete wall have been delayed to April 4 to give contractors more time to respond after they review answers to questions.
The DHS answered numerous questions it has received from companies in a Q&A document added to the bid Tuesday. At least one company stated it had artificial intelligence technology to detect border threats, but the department said that concept didn’t pass muster, the San Diego U-T reports.
“Technology alone will not meet the requirements of this solicitation,” the document read.
Companies also asked about scrapping a physical barrier and instead using a combination of sensors, security cameras and advanced surveillance equipment; however, DHS stated bids that do not include a wall will not be considered.
Up to 20 finalists will be selected by the department to build prototypes somewhere in San Diego, although the exact location has not been revealed, according to the newspaper.
The bid says the wall must be 30-feet high, unable to be climbed, prevent digging below the wall for at least 6 feet and be aesthetically pleasing on the American side.
DHS has estimated the not-yet-funded 1,000-mile wall would cost $21.6 billion, nearly double of what Trump’s campaign cited. The barrier has faced opposition from Republicans and Democrats.
On Tuesday, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced at a leadership press conference that Trump’s funding request for the wall will have to wait until later in the year, The Hill reported Tuesday.
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