Border Patrol chiefs say they need more border wall

Two senior Border Patrol officials told Congress on Tuesday that the agency needs more border barriers, saying the walls and other tools help shape and control the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs across the states. United.

Gloria Chavez, the chief patrol officer in the Rio Grande Valley area of ​​South Texas, said parts of her area are “unprotected right now.”

And John Modlin, chief patrol officer in the Tucson area of ​​Arizona, said that in his area they had encountered many obstacles under the Trump administration, but that the halt in construction under the current administration made them left “gaps” that need to be filled.

The statements go against the position of President Biden, who halted construction of the wall on his first day in office and opposed more construction throughout his term.

“There are places in my AOR, my area of ​​responsibility, which require barriers, which are not protected at the moment, as well as doors. Doors are super important to us and right now there are doors that aren’t there that make us vulnerable,” Chief Chavez said.

Chief Modlin said the Tucson area has about 120 miles of new barriers built under President Trump. But he said the wall panels were just part of what was supposed to be a “wall system”. The system was supposed to also have fiber optic cables that support sensors and other tools to detect incursions and routes that allow officers to respond quickly to those incursions.

He also said they have “gaps” left in the wall that he wants to fill.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced limited plans to fill some gaps, defying Mr Biden’s campaign vow not to build “another foot” of wall. But Chief Modlin said his sector had yet to benefit from filling the gaps.

“We look forward to filling the gaps,” he told the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The agents’ testimony was groundbreaking in that it was the first hearing from senior career Border Patrol officials in the new GOP Congress — and even under Mr. Biden’s administration.
Officials have repeatedly painted a different picture from that offered by Mr. Mayorkas and other named politicians.

“It is the policy of this administration. We do not agree with the construction of the wall,” the secretary said in late 2021.

But officers said Tuesday that walls are an invaluable tool when done right.

Chief Chavez said the wall system serves as a force multiplier, meaning fewer officers are needed to patrol the border because they are more aware thanks to sensors and can get to breaches faster thanks to roads .

Chief Modlin said that when he was a young agent in San Diego, the American side of the border was “uninhabitable” because “thousands of people” crossed every night and crime rates against goods were high.

Eventually a double wall was built and more officers were deployed and he said things changed drastically.

“If you look now, there are very expensive homes in these areas and the community is thriving in an area that was once uninhabitable,” he said.

The wall was former President Donald Trump’s most visible campaign promise. When Congress gave him only partial funding, he used emergency powers to bypass Congress and divert money from the Pentagon to construction.

Mr. Biden, upon taking office, halted construction of the wall and took back unspent money from the Pentagon.

But some $2 billion of money that Congress appropriated sat unused.

Mr. Biden faces legal questions over that money. Since Congress allocated it to build the wall, it must be used for that purpose, and at some point the delay crosses the line of obstruction to Congress, the Government Accountability suggested. Office.

About 450 miles of new barriers have been erected under Mr Trump’s watch.

But less than half of it was fully equipped with the technology, lighting and roads that make up the complete wall system.

The GAO said that was because Homeland Security, in an effort to meet Mr. Trump’s demands for miles of an actual barrier, had focused on building the signs and deprioritized other parts of the system.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button