The border wall former President Donald Trump made a centerpiece of his presidential campaign was supposed to keep people out of the United States and greatly reduce drug smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal immigration.
But according to the Washington Post, the ex-president’s supposedly “impenetrable” wall has already been breached nearly 3,300 times, usually with basic tools that are available at any hardware store:
Mexican smuggling gangs have sawed through new segments of border wall 3,272 times over the past three years, according to unpublished U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintenance records obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
The government spent $2.6 million to repair the breaches during the 2019 to 2021 fiscal years, the CBP records show. While the agency has acknowledged that smugglers are able to hack through the new barriers built by the Trump administration, the maintenance records show damage has been more widespread than previously known, pointing to the structure’s limitations as an impediment to illegal crossings.
The most popular way to defeat the wall is with an angle grinder or demolition sander. Those are used to sever 18-to-30-foot-tall bollards close to the ground. Once that has been accomplished, all that holds the bollard in place is a single attachment at the top of the structure. A person can then easily push the bollard out of the way, which creates a gap more than large enough for people and contraband to pass through.
Evidence of breaches in the wall can be found almost everywhere you look:
Along one 25-mile segment of new border wall between Naco and Douglas, Ariz., The Post recently counted 71 bollards with visible repairs and welds. In most instances, crews repaired the breaches using a sleeve-like steel coupler, referred to as a “boot,” to patch over the hole.
Some of the bollards were marked “BREACH” in white lettering, and most had the date of their repairs scrawled just above the welded segments.
During his time in office, Trump was able to get 458 miles of barriers built, mostly in New Mexico and Arizona. He had planned to construct another 250 miles of his “wall,” but the project was canceled by President Joe Biden when he took office.
The cost of the construction already in place? $11 billion worth of taxpayer money that Trump diverted from the Defense Department.
The ex-president was fond of calling his wall “impenetrable,” but has changed his tune since it became clear such a claim is patently untrue. He now tells supporters:
“We have a very powerful wall. But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything.”
Another way to defeat the barrier has also been found, and it requires nothing more than a ladder:
“Smugglers build tall ladders using scrap wood or metal rebar thin enough to pass between the bollards. They use the ladder to go up the structure, then pass it through the gaps and use it again to climb down onto the U.S. side. They also frequently employ ropes with knots to climb down, and videos on social media show the most athletic climbers have learned to squeeze the bollards between their legs and slide down it like a fire pole.”
As with nearly everything Trump promises, the hype never lives up to reality. Then again, neither does he.
Featured Image Via NBC News