LA Contractors Must Disclose Ties to Border Wall Construction

(CN) – The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday requiring contractors doing business with the city to disclose all bids, contracts, and proposals tied to construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

The ordinance, which passed by 12-0 vote, requires city contractors not only imposes strict reporting requirements on city contractors, but includes a schedule of fines and penalties that will imposed on those who don’t disclose such information.

Exemptions to the new rules include investments in municipal funds, pension funds and bonds.

The Associated General Contractors of America, an industry group, opposed the ordinance.

The vote marks a new level of pushback from lawmakers in Los Angeles against the immigration policies of the White House.

President Trump argues the wall is needed to stop illegal immigrants from entering the United States.

But according to the ordinance, which was sponsored by Councilman Gil Cedillo, the wall has the “potential to divide our nation and the city of Los Angles along racial, religious and immigration status, which is the antithesis of our shared values.”

He also called the proposed border wall  “an affront to American core values of opportunity, entrepreneurship, and sacrificing to make a better way for the next generation.”

According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 2.2 million of California’s 40 million residents are undocumented immigrants, and Los Angeles is believed to be home to about 1.5 million of them.

The ordinance doesn’t ban companies working on the wall from doing business with Los Angeles, But Councilman Cedillo has said he reporting requirements should act as a deterrent to contractors getting involved with the border wall.

“Given the potential harmful impacts of the proposed border wall, the city should fully understand the potential detrimental impacts of also utilizing companies, corporations, contractors, procurers, and suppliers that are soliciting work on the ill-conceived border wall project,” the bill states.

Cedillo has also said he will vote against city contracts with such firms.

Officials in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland have said they are considering similar legislation.

Trump made building a border wall a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign, and he issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to carry out the plan as soon as he was inaugurated.

During his first presidential visit to California on March 14, Trump visited a portion of border wall near San Diego and inspected prototypes of proposed wall construction projects.

Since the passage of the federal spending bill in late March, Trump has claimed construction of the border has already begun.

Congress approved $1.6 billion to replace some sections of existing fences but the fencing is not made of concrete and doesn’t resemble any of the proposed wall prototypes.

In the past week, thousands of National Guard troops have begun their deployment along the U.S.-Mexico border. The troops are unarmed but individual states may decide to arm them for self-defense purposes, according to the head of the U.S. Border Patrol.

California will send 400 of the state’s National Guard troops to the border mission, but Governor Jerry Brown has left their role largely undefined, drawing a rebuke from the president.

“Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border,” Trump said on Twitter. “He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

Trump has estimated that it would cost between $4 billion and $10 billion to build the wall, according to Politifact.

But in February, a leaked Department of Homeland Security report estimated that the proposed border wall would cost as much as $21.6 billion.

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