The barrier Trump touted as ‘impenetrable’ can be breached with common power tools, the Washington Post reports
Smugglers have breached the Trump administration’s border wall along the US-Mexico frontier more than 3,000 times, government maintenance records obtained by the Washington Post reveal.
Nearly 500 miles of barrier was constructed by the Trump administration beginning in 2019, mostly in rural New Mexico and Arizona. Former president Trump touted the “big, beautiful wall” as the “Rolls-Royce” of barriers, but smugglers have breached the wall at least 3,272 times, mostly with common power tools found at hardware stores.
“No structure is impenetrable, so we will continue to work to focus resources on modern, effective border management measures to improve safety and security,” Luis Miranda, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told the Post.
He added that border security “requires a variety of resources and efforts, infrastructure, technology, and personnel”, much of which was not funded when Trump’s wall was constructed.
Before its construction, former president Donald Trump
promised Mexico would pay for construction of the border wall and that it would be “virtually impenetrable”.
Ultimately, 458 miles of new border fencing was paid for by taxpayers at a cost of $11bn and there was evidence as early as 2019 that smugglers were sawing through the boundary with $100 power tools.
Part of the border wall is constructed using posts cemented in concrete at the base which support a long lintel at the top. Smugglers are easily able to saw through the posts and swing them open, then continue using the same breach until the damage is detected by the border patrol. Other sections have been damaged by monsoons.
Smuggling organizations have sawn large enough holes to pass an SUV through. In one instance, an SUV loaded with 23 migrants passed through a section of border wall near San Diego and soon after collided with a semi-truck, killing 13 people.
By 2021, the government had spent another $2.6m in taxpayer funds to repair the “wall”, and cited the lack of infrastructure infrastructure and personnel as an impediment to keeping it intact.