Peter Svarzbein’s Wall Moment
As many of you likely know I am against the Donald Trump wall. As you may also know, Peter Svarzbien has an agenda item (20.1) on today’s city council meeting asking for discussion and action prohibiting the City from awarding any contracts to any company that does work on the Trump Wall. On the surface, it an easy item to applaud, especially by me as I’m vehemently opposed to the symbolism of hate the wall represents. However, getting past the surface it soon becomes clear that this item is nothing more than political theater at the expense of immigrants and Mexicans.
This is because Peter Svarzbein’s agenda item does nothing. Nothing.
I have already written numerous times why El Paso is anti-immigrant to the core. Other than political theater drama like Svarbein’s city council agenda item, the City of El Paso has done nothing concrete to demonstrate affinity and support for the Mexican economy that feeds the City’s coffers.
I should correct that statement, Cortney Niland spearheaded a border initiative designed to speed up the border crossing points. It has been successful, although it only addresses one problem.
Except for that one item, all the other so-called support for Mexicans and immigrants are political theater. That includes the numerous local proclamations showing support for the immigrants and cross border trade that numerous politicians put forth periodically. Just like Svarzbein’s wall item.
David Karslruher pointed out yesterday that the item is unlikely to get past the legal department’s scrutiny. As a matter of fact, it is very likely that this item will be deleted during the consent agenda reading without any comment. But, let’s consider it nonetheless.
Consider that the wall is mostly completed in the El Paso area. Also, as Karlsruher pointed out, not one of the local contractors in El Paso could qualify to offer services to build the wall, expect for possibly Cemex, a multi-national company from México that operates in El Paso.
Contrary to a frequent reader who comments on my blog, the Trump Administration has stated, through the procurement process, that the Trump Wall will be largely made of concrete. It is also envisioned to be 30 feet tall.
KVIA, notably regurgitated a Diario report about local businesses signing up to bid on the project. The problem is that the facts are wrong. They are based on the original bid request. The bid document was updated late on Friday. The updates pushed back the dates and clarified the assumed design of the wall.
As for local businesses signing up. Anyone and any business can sign up to bid on government contracts. The key is in qualifying to be awarded a contract.
The new bid documents say the wall will likely be made of concrete. Concrete has a truck-life of about one and a half hours. In other words, once it is mixed and loaded unto the truck it must be poured within an hour-and-a-half which makes the concrete companies one of the most important logistical requirements for the building of Trump’s Wall. There are mobile mixing stations but the rugged terrain limit the use of those.
El Paso already has the wall in place and that little fact, and the concrete shelf life pretty much makes Svarbein’s agenda item moot. Although there are architectural and engineering firms in El Paso, as well as large contractors, none of them are likely to be listed as responsible bidders on the Trump Wall project.
But let’s pretend for a moment that Cemex, El Paso Concrete Systems, GCC, Jobe Materials, Metro Mix or MTI, among others in El Paso really wanted to work on the wall the fact remains that except for Cemex, it would not be financially feasible for the rest.
Cemex, is a Mexican company and it has publicly stated that it is willing to supply materials to the wall project. As a multinational, Cemex is unlikely to be worried about the City of El Paso not buying from them.
Additionally, they are likely to sue to get back the right to sell to the city.
As you can clearly see, Peter Svarzbein’s agenda item served only one purpose and that is to get news coverage for his political career. All of it on the backs of the immigrants that are at the crosshairs of Trump hate.
That is the fundamental problem with the immigration debate.
You have two sides; one side fearing immigrants and another side embracing them while the politicians do nothing but use immigrants as fodder for political careers.
That is truly despicable and why we find ourselves today in the midst of immigrant hating politics.