Border wall

Administration awards almost $1 billion in contracts for border wall

Construction worker build a secondary border wall in February in Otay Mesa, California.
Construction worker build a secondary border wall in February in Otay Mesa, California. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

The Defense Department said Tuesday it has awarded $976 million in contracts to two companies for construction related to President Trump's long-sought border wall along the southern border with a completion date expected for October 2020.

Details: The agency said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a $789 million contract was given to SLSCO Ltd., a company based in Galveston, Texas, for "border replacement wall construction" in Santa Teresa, New Mexico located in the El Paso sector of the border. Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. Inc. was awarded a $187 million contract for the "design-bid-build construction project for primary pedestrian wall replacement" in Yuma, Arizona. CNN reported that funds for the contracts are from the $1 billion the Pentagon recently said it has shifted from other military construction projects to build part of the barrier.

Meet Kevin McAleenan, the new acting secretary of homeland security

 Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.
Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

President Trump elevated Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to acting secretary of homeland security following Kirstjen Nielsen’s abrupt resignation Sunday evening.

The bottom line: McAleenan has now been thrust further into the bitter escalating fight over Trump's immigration policies and put in charge of some of the president's key hardline initiatives, including a push for a long-promised border wall and a crackdown on illegal immigration.