The current chief of the U.S. Border Patrol agency, Ronald Vitiello, agreed on Thursday that barriers and walls on the U.S. border do help stop the surging tide of illegal immigration into the United States.
“At the border, barriers can be helpful, can they not?” Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked Vitiello during a Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday.
“Barriers, as in physical barriers?” Vitiello asked.
“Yes, walls,” Sessions replied.
“They have been. They have been,” Vitiello said.
“They magnify the ability of a single officer to be able to cover more territory?” Sessions asked.
“Right, so, all of the things we use on the border, physical barriers, fencing as one, technology is a great benefit to us, plus the agencies still have to have that response as well,” Vitiello said.
Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has made it a crucial campaign promise to build a “great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. Sessions has repeatedly stated that it’s “essential” to build a border wall, saying the nation that put a man on the moon can control who comes into the country. He gave the first endorsement of his 20-year Senate career to Trump in February.
Other Border Patrol members testified as well, with one agent harshly criticizing the Obama administration’s “catch and release” program for illegal aliens.