By Miriam Raftery
Photo: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0. Wall at San Diego-Tijuana border; crosses represent migrants who died in the crossing attempt.
February 26, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump is pushing forward with plans to fast-track building a wall along the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border.
On Friday, The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it will begin accepting bids on March 6th to build the wall and will allow only four days for contractors to submit their concept papers and build prototypes due March 10th.
Construction contracts will be awarded starting in mid-April to build the massive wall, Associated Press reports.
The project would be built in phases, starting by extending fencing and then later, replacing existing fencing with a solid wall.
However, such expenditure should require approval by Congress, which has not yet indicated when or if it would approve the money needed to build the wall.
Congressional leaders have estimated it will take $12 to 15 billion to build the wall, though an internal Homeland Security memo estimated the cost at $21 billion to secure the entire border.
Most of San Diego County already has a border wall or at least a fence, meaning San Diego taxpayers will largely be paying to build a wall somewhere else.
The wall, if built, would fulfill a promise made by Trump to his supporters during the campaign concerned about border security.
But it has drawn strong opposition not only from immigrants’ advocates, but from environmentalists concerned about blocking wildlife crossing areas.
Other opponents argue that the hefty cost of the wall is money that could better be spent for other purposes, such as reducing the deficit, helping the homeless, improving public education, or preserving funding for the arts and public media, which Trump says he wants to eliminate.
The Wall is a colossal fortification which stretches for 100 leagues (300 miles) along the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realm from the wildlings who live beyond. The Wall is reported to be over 700 feet tall and is made of solid ice.