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Border Patrol concerned wall-building site could draw Keystone Oil Pipeline-scale protests




A fence runs along the US-Mexico border between the Otay Mesa and San Ysidro ports of entry in and near San Diego, California, across from Tijuana, Mexico.
A fence runs along the US-Mexico border between the Otay Mesa and San Ysidro ports of entry in and near San Diego, California, across from Tijuana, Mexico.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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The Otay Mesa is east of Tijuana. It will serve as the building site of prototype walls commissioned by the Trump administration.

It could also be a staging area for mass protests. Alicia Caldwell is an immigration reporter at the Wall Street Journal, and she spoke to A Martinez about how law enforcement agencies are anticipating large-scale protests as construction begins on the wall prototypes.

Concrete and "other materials"

Construction is expected to begin next week on Sept. 26, according to an internal Homeland Security memo. Six companies won the bid to build the eight prototypes which will be about 30 feet long and up to 30 feet tall.

"The first set will be concrete. Solid. Can't see through. Brick and mortar, if you will...walls. The second set will be of so-called, 'other materials.' We don't have a lot of details on that but that could include something that is see-through."

Caldwell clarified that though these prototypes may sound experimental, like they're not here to stay. That's not the case.

"They are permanent. So what will happen is, they will build a lifesize to-scale model, if you will, of what each company proposes to build if they win the ultimate contract or a piece of the ultimate contract to build President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

So, the exact specifications that each company proposes will be out on the border. It will be fully functional for as long as it holds up."

Anticipating protests

"The concern from CBP is that there could be a large-scale protest, that could, in fact, be similar to the Keystone Oil pipeline project in the Dakotas. And for those that don't recall, that was a massive protest that basically became an encampment, through the winter in South Dakota.

... A large-scale protest also could disrupt construction ... disrupt border operations but also had the potential to become violent.

Protests could also spark up on the south side according to the memo. They're sort of looking at all potential contingencies."

 To hear more about the wall prototypes and how the state attorney general's lawsuit might affect construction, click the blue play button above.