Minnesota Companies Bid on Trump’s Wall

Companies bidding for the project face death threats and other forms of retaliation.

© Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com CC-BY-SA 4.0

WASHINGTON – Several Minnesota companies are among the 732 firms that submitted proposals to build a prototype border wall in accordance with President Donald Trump’s specifications.

Fox 9 reports that it obtained records showing that twelve companies in the state filed bids with the Department of Homeland Security prior to the department’s Tuesday deadline. Companies would be bidding for part of the multi-billion dollar contract, as well as the publicity, good and bad, that comes with the contract.

“We’ve been getting a lot of angry calls including death threats,” Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga, a government contractor on the wall project, told Fox 9.

Evangelista-Ysasaga is chief executive of The Penna Group LLC, a general contractor in Fort Worth, Texas. He told the Associated Press he has received about a dozen death threats since he first publicly expressed interest in bidding. One woman told him she had hired a private investigator to tail him.

Of the 12 Minnesota firms, not a single one would go on record regarding their bid. They fear retaliation from the general public.

The Associated Press reports U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement that it would pick multiple contractors to build prototypes around June 1. Only the winning bidders will be named.

The original proposal request calls for the prototype to be at least 18 feet tall, though the government’s ideal is 30 feet in height. The design should also go at least six feet into the ground, so as to prevent tunneling underneath the structure.

Another part of the CBP’s request includes the contractor’s responsibility for developing a security plan.

“The detailed Security Plan shall include details such as, but not limited to; “fall back positions,” evacuation routines and methods, muster area, medical staff members/availability, number of security personnel, qualifications, years of experience, etc. in the event of a hostile attack,” reads the proposal request. “Additional Security requirements may be required in future task orders.”

Still, Evangelista-Ysasaga and others are committed to the project. He told the associated press that he believes the border wall is a necessary first step towards immigration reform.

“We didn’t enter this lightly,” Evangelista-Ysasaga told the Associated Press. “We looked at it and said we have to be a productive part of the solution.”

Anders Koskinen