According to a recent report from The Washington Post, gangs in Mexico are now apparently using commercially-bought power tools to cut large holes throughout the walls at that southern US-Mexico border.
President Trump has long praised the wall and the security it will bring with it, touting especially the steel and concrete materials, etc. Steel and concrete are great building materials- they can also be sawed apart by a readily available store bought cordless tool that retails for UNDER a $100, according to the Post, which credits US border officials with the details about the damages.
Cutting through the walls isn’t the only breach in security, officials say. The Post was told that smugglers have also scaled the walls, climbed over with makeshift ladders, etc. They say the areas near San Diego are particularly active.
This shocking report is the first of its kind but is likely not the last. It provides detailed description of the breaches and damages and claims that the lack of information via government reporting signifies that it is really unclear how many times such events have occurred. US Customs and Border Protection declined to speak to the Post about the incidents or provide further information about how frequently it has happened. They have also failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request seeking such data at press time.
One potential deterrent to these breaches in security could be the addition of electronic sensors. As of now, none have been added but if they are, they could be crucial in detecting when and where the damage is happening. One former border chief says, however, that smugglers will find a way around anything, including those.
Trump’s wall has been a source of contention and cost for the duration of the President’s campaign and time in office. The president even enacted what became the longest government shutdown in history over the wall when he would not back down on his request for $5 billion to be allocated for his wall.
Even though the president has decided this is THE thing he will fight for, environmental and immigration experts have cast their doubts on its potential overall positive effect. Officials have long stated that the solid concrete design of the wall was just not beneficial- namely that it would make it difficult for agents to be able to see through to the other side.
The Post says that smugglers are taking advantage of the “bollard” style design that the Trump administration chose. Sure enough, way back in January 2019, NBC News reported that this very style could be sawed through.
Photos that could show evidence of breaches were omitted in a redacted version of a US Customs and Border Protection report that highlighted the faulty design and Trump went as far as to deny the validity of the pictures. He claimed that it was “a wall designed by previous administrations” although the very one in question is clearly one designed by the Trump team.