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Despite issuing an executive order in January calling for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump Administration was unable to get the necessary funds included in April’s $1.1 trillion Congressional spending bill. President Trump remains committed to fulfilling one of his signature campaign promises. However, some state and local lawmakers are less than enthusiastic about a potential wall across our southern border. Seven bills and five local ordinances have been proposed across six states that would punish companies bidding on the border wall project by prohibiting those companies from receiving public contracts.

The map below displays which states and localities are considering legislation targeting border wall contractors.

Map Displaying States & Localities Targetting Wall Contractors

Leading the charge is California, where two state-level bills have been joined by ordinances from at least five local jurisdictions. Receiving the most media attention at the state level is a bill (CA SB 30) that would prohibit California from awarding or renewing any contract with anyone providing goods or services to the federal government for the construction of a federally funded wall along the state's southern border.

The bill’s author, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles), argued in an April op-ed that his bill would protect California’s economy, environment, and unique bi-national culture from the damage he believes the wall would cause. “A massive wall along California’s southern border reveals another dividing line — between the American Dream of a better future for all who come here and a nightmare of exclusion and untold economic and environmental destruction.” He bluntly explained his thinking in an April interview: “If you're a business that wants to do work with Trump's proposed wall, then quite frankly, California doesn't want to do business with you.” Senator Lara's bill awaits its final vote in the Senate.

Meanwhile, California Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill (CA AB 946) that would prohibit the boards of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalTERS) from making new investments or renewing existing investments in any border wall construction company. The bill would also require the boards to liquidate investments in a border wall construction company within the next 12 months. So far, Assemblymember Ting's bill has yet to pass out of the Committee for Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.

Echoing the actions in the state legislature, multiple California cities have introduced “business ban” ordinances of their own. San Francisco introduced an ordinance (#170295) that would prohibit the city government from “contracting with companies who bid on contracts or contract with the Federal Government to provide services or goods to construct the border wall referenced in Executive Order No. 13767.”

Elsewhere in California, Berkeley (67,865–N.S.), Oakland (16-0697), and Santa Cruz (2017-06) have all passed similar ordinances, and Los Angeles is now considering (17-0538) doing the same.

Notably, these aggressive moves from state and local politicians could prove costly or ultimately ruled unconstitutional.

The table below outlines details of each of the “business ban” bills and includes a brief summary.

State Bill Number Summary
CA SB 30 Prohibits the state from awarding or renewing any contract with any person that is providing or has provided goods or services to the federal government for the construction of a federally funded wall along California’s southern border.
CA AB 946 Prohibits the boards of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalTERS) from making new investments or renewing existing investments in a border wall construction company. Would also require the boards to liquidate investments in a border wall construction company within the next 12 months.
AZ HB 2446 Identifies all companies bidding on the border wall project as "scrutinized companies," and prohibits the state from entering into any new contrats with said "scutinized companies." Mandates that the state retirement fund must "sell, redeem, divest or withdraw all publicly traded securities of a scrutinized company," and may not acquire securities of a scrutinized company until the company is no longer listed as such.
IL HB 6628 Prohibits a state agency from entering into a contract subject to the code with a business that contracts with the federal government to build a wall along the border of Mexico and the United States of America.
NY AB 6595 / SB 5405 Bars companies working on the construction of the border wall from contracting with any businesses or investing in any public funds or assets within New York State.
RI HB 5505 Prohibits the state investment commission from investing in any companies that are involved in the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
WI LRB-2356 Prohibits the state of Wisconsin from investing in companies that enter into a contract with the federal government to build President Trump’s proposed border wall (Executive Order 13767).
Jurisdiction Ordinance Number Summary
San Francisco 170295 Prohibits the city government from contracting with companies who bid on contracts or contract with the Federal Government to provide services or goods to construct the border wall referenced in Executive Order No. 13767.
Berkeley 67,865–N.S. Denounces the presidential executive order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and recommends that the city of Berkeley divest from any companies involved in the construction of a border wall.
Oakland 16-0697 Denounces the January 25, 2017 executive order titled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement," and directs the city administrator - in instances where there is no significant additional cost, to be defined in regulations, or conflict with law - to refrain from entering into new or amended contracts to purchase professional, technical, scientific or financial services, goods, construction labor and materials or other services, or supplies from businesses that enter into contracts to provide such services, goods, materials or supplies to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
L.A. 17-0538 Directs prospective and existing contractors with the city of Los Angeles to disclose under affidavit whether they have any contracts for design, construction, supply, procurement, or other development related services regarding building any proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States of America.
Santa Cruz 2017-06 Details the human rights, environmental impact, and economic problems with the presidential executive order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and recommends that the city of Santa Cruz divest from any companies involved in the construction of a border wall.