President Donald Trump's promised wall along the United States' southern border will create a few jobs, and one Puerto Rican company wants in on the action.
San Diego Project Management PCS, a Puerto Rican-based company in Luquillo, east of San Juan, put in an application Friday to construct the wall in response to the federal government's request for proposals, according to TeleSUR, a Latin American news outlet.
Company founder Patrick Balcazar said he has considered the pushback he would receive for signing on to such a project, given that many members of the Hispanic community have not-so-favorable opinions of Trump, who has taken a hardline approach to immigration issues.
Nevertheless, Balcazar says his company is ready for the job.
"There are two ways to look at this," Balcazar said. "It's better to be part of the process and participate in it and make sure your engineering standards safeguard lives, or you can let the mercenaries do God knows what."
"I have a very high level of professional and personal ethics," he continued. "I work under the rules and never to hurt anyone."
As it turns out, Balcazar has some competition. Last week, TeleSUR reported, Rogelio Zambrano, chairman of the Mexican company Cemex, said the company would "gladly" offer a quote to the U.S. government.
And Eric Olson, CEO of the world's largest cement company, LafargeHolcim, said the border wall is "an infrastructure project where we would participate."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said late last month that it plans to begin awarding contracts for the U.S-Mexico border wall by mid-April. Initial bids are due on or around Monday and companies are required to submit "concept papers" to design and build prototypes by Friday.
The field of candidates will be winnowed by March 20 and finalists must submit offers along with their proposed costs by March 24.
According to a February report from the Department of Homeland Security, the southern barrier will be made up of both fences and walls and is expected to cost as much as $21.6 billion and take more than three years to construct.
The DHS cost estimate exceeds that of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had previously estimated the wall would cost somewhere between $12 billion and $15 billion.