Multiple Government Agencies Propose Bills That Would Punish Contractors Participating in US/Mexico Border Wall

 US/Mexico Border Fence.  photo by  messicanbeer ,  CC BY 2.0

US/Mexico Border Fence.  photo by messicanbeerCC BY 2.0

As of early March, there were nearly 200 construction companies that marked themselves as “interested” in constructing the US/Mexico border wallThe Daily Mail now reports that over 600 have expressed interest in the design and construction of the wall.  The Request for Proposal (RFP) package for the conceptual design of the wall was released on March 17th and the responses are due no later than March 29th. 

There are plenty of people that have very strong feelings about the border wall and there are now several politicians that have submitted bills in various states that would punish contractors for being involved with the wall.

California

Last week, two San Francisco supervisors, Hillary Ronen and Aaron Peskin, introduced legislation that keep any contractor that bids on the wall from doing any government work for the city of San Francisco in the future, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.  The Oakland City Council introduced similar legislation last week, as well.

The Berkeley, CA city council has already approved a resolution that would allow the city to divest from a contractor that is involved with the wall in any capacity. 

Hensel Phelps Construction and Tutor Perini Corp. currently hold large contracts with San Francisco. The Chronicle states that Hensel Phelps is under contract to build a new terminal at the San Francisco International Airport for $1.1 billion and Tutor Perini holds an $860 million contract to build the Central Subway for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency.   Although current contracts would not be affected under the legislation, it would prevent the companies from bidding on any further city work, if they moved forward with the border wall process.

New York

Nily Rozic, an Assemblywoman in New York, introduced a bill that “would prevent the state from signing contracts or investing in companies hired for the federal project,” CBS New York reported

Letita James, a NYC Public Advocate, also plans to submit legislation to ban construction firms, which participate in the border wall, from doing business with New York City, according to Newsday. She also plans to request that the city’s public employee pension fund divest from construction firms that participate.

Illinois

Illinois State Senator Martin A. Sandoval introduced SB2091 that would label companies that participate in the border wall as a “restricted company,” if they want to do business with the state of Illinois. As of March 16th, Sandoval’s bill has been postponed.

Companies involved with the wall will undoubtedly face public backlash and many expect plenty of lawsuits to be filed in order to delay or kill the wall all together.  It will be interesting to see which companies will drop out of the running and which will continue to explore the opportunity.