Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

DHS chief: No wall from sea to shining sea

DHS chief: No wall from sea to shining sea

In his written testimony, Kelly says that fewer than 12,500 people were caught crossing the Mexican border illegally in March.

One contractor who bid on the construction of USA president Trump's border wall inquired if it was possible for the federal government to suspend the anti-gun laws of California and other states to enable construction crews to carry guns.

Bidding for the border wall closed on Tuesday with numerous largest engineering and construction firms declining to submit proposals, CNN reported, possibly forcing the administration to rely on smaller firms, which may not have the necessary resources to complete the massive project as efficiently.

Kelly said Border Patrol agents could separate parents and children if the mother is sick or addicted to drugs.

Kelly's remarks, made Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security, run contrary to one of President Donald Trump's key campaign promises, to build a solid wall along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. President Trump said he would cover more than half the distance with the rest being taken care by natural obstacles. The Department of Homeland Security has estimated the cost of the wall at $21 billion. But, he said, "I have a lot of elbow room" from the president regarding what will eventually be built.

Fresh data on illegal migrants from Mexico entering the United States 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. The administration has not yet changed how the border is patrolled, but the president's tough talk on immigration and arrests of immigrants living in the country illegally have likely acted as deterrents.

The White House made a request for $1 billion to begin construction of the wall as part of its push to boost spending on defense and border security. "It's unlikely that we build a wall from sea to shining sea, but it is very likely that we will put it where men and women think we should put it".

Arrests of people caught trying to sneak into the United States from Mexico dropped in March to the lowest point in more than 17 years.

Another contractor, Yahoo News reported, citing an Associated Press story, asked if authorities would "rush in" to defend his employees if they face "hostile fire" while working on the wall. Kelly said that both physical structures and technological devices help stem the flow of illegal immigrants and harmful substances, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

"'Wall' shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier'".

The company's proposal sets solar panels on sections of the wall, generating what it says would be approximately 2.0 megawatts of electricity per hour, according to the wire service.

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