Government’s top border official touts effectiveness of the wall
The government’s top border official has told Congress that a 20-mile section of a new border wall built near El Paso, Texas, has already cut illegal crossings by more than 80% in areas where it has been completed.
Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, said the key was down to the entire system being built, with roads and lighting and multiple layers of fencing.
Morgan added it is giving agents more time to get to spots where breakthroughs happen, making it easier for arrests or force people to retreat back into Mexico.
“We’ve seen apprehensions and illegal entries and gotaways all being reduced by over 80% in that 20-mile stretch,” Mr. Morgan told the House Appropriations Committee.
President Donald Trump‘s wall-building campaign has dominated this week’s series of hearings as the Department of Homeland Security officials defend their fiscal 2021 budget proposal.
Democrats highlighted reports that even the new designs can be cut through using tools from a hardware store while arguing tens of billions is not needed.
“It’s not that it’s impenetrable. But it does deny and impede long enough for Border Patrol agents to actually get there to do the apprehension and interdiction. And it works,” Morgan said.
Trump’s budget requests $2 billion in wall-building money for next year.
CBP had built 109 miles of the wall since February
Mr. Morgan insisted CBP had followed the law in consulting with the Tohono O’odham by holding meetings, and he vehemently objected to the description of “blowing up” their heritage.
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“I don’t believe that is what I consider we’re doing,” he said.
Earlier this year, Trump scored a major victory as a federal appeals court has just ruled that the White House can divert $3.6B in military construction funds to build the southern border wall.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that blocked the Trump Administration from using the funds for building the wall along the US-Mexico border.
“The decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, lifts an injunction issued last month in Texas that blocked the reallocation plan,” USA Today reported.