On at least three occasions this year, human smugglers breached sections of existing dilapidated border fencing near San Diego, then drove their cargo into the country unimpeded. Border Patrol agents posted photos of the February incidents on their Twitter account.
For the second time in less than two months, dilapidated border infrastructure in east #SanDiego County was dismantled and breached by suspected smuggling organizations. Agents discovered cross-border tracks for two vehicles, but did not locate them. #CBP #USBP #BorderSecurity pic.twitter.com/EMjN5CYiIY
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) February 6, 2019
The fencing in this area is made up of surplus Vietnam-era landing mats that are welded together, but are not anchored to the ground. Joshua Wilson, Vice-President of the San Diego chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, told NBC Los Angeles:
“The smugglers tie a chain to (the barrier), hook it to their vehicle and just break the welds.”
In another incident the smugglers propped the fencing back up after crossing.
Aging border barriers in East County #SanDiego were dismantled and driven through twice this month. Last Thursday, agents operating near #Campo, CA discovered tire tracks heading north from the border fence. After a search, agents located an abandoned truck and 24 illegal aliens. pic.twitter.com/RfvRjfaPcy
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) February 18, 2019
Customs and Border Protection Chief Agent Rodney Scott has posted a series of videos to CBP San Diego’s Twitter account, answering questions about why a wall is needed and what other types of technology are helpful. In this video, he explains why bollard-style fencing is most effective.
Proven effective in San Diego, walls helped stop vehicle drive-throughs, which were a common smuggling technique in the 1990’s. In this 5th video, Chief Scott explains how walls put an end to this dangerous smuggling method. pic.twitter.com/CohZfhrl58
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) January 24, 2019
Agent Wilson, agreeing, said:
“Everywhere we replace that landing-mat style fence with the bollard fencing, we have seen the drive-overs completely stop. They aren’t just reduced, they stop, completely.”
The police chief of Tecate, Mexico, just over the border from the area where the incursions happened, claims that the winds blew the fence down. Riiiiight, and trucks full of illegal immigrants were just right there waiting. If that’s true (which is doubtful), that’s even more reason to quickly replace the old fencing with something effective as soon as possible.