Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla makes the case for securing the southwestern border during an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby. Chief Padilla details why the U.S. needs to have functional control of its borders and discusses the effectiveness of walls and other technologies.
“From a historical perspective, we started being very very busy since the late 80s, early 90s,” Chief Padilla explained. “It really came to a head in the early 90s when we started our efforts in San Diego.”
Chief Padilla, who is now responsible for securing the nation’s busiest sector for illegal immigration, said that in the early 1090s, the San Diego Sector was apprehending well over 560,000 people in a year’s time.
“That’s really when we started building up border security,” he said. “We started deploying personnel, technology, and infrastructure. If you look at the progress and the evolution of the strategies throughout the years, we have four corridors — California, Arizona, West Texas-New Mexico, and then South Texas.”
The chief explained the deployment of technology, personnel, and infrastructure, has “really transformed those areas of the border where it was extremely busy in the past.”
Padilla said that currently in the three sectors of the South Texas border (Del Rio, Laredo, and Rio Grande Valley Sectors) there is only about 60 miles of infrastructure (fencing and walls).
Referring to the San Diego Sector, Padilla said, “Nobody can deny that the transformation of a very chaotic border (in the early 90s) into the border that it now creates an environment for prosperity. There were areas back then that were ‘no-man’s lands.'”
Padilla described an area referred to as the “soccer field” where when darkness fell, there were “huge numbers of people coming in waves.”
“Look at those places now — there’s shopping malls. There’s very good housing that has been built along those areas.” He said there is a very evident before and after change in the area. He went on to describe similar results in the El Paso and Tucson sectors where physical barriers, technology, and additional manpower have made a big difference in the security of these communities.
Darby discussed the issue of physical barriers and increased border security. “The wall was built in San Diego and the wall was built in El Paso. Did that wall play a part in transforming those sectors?” Darby asked.
“Absolutely,” Chief Padilla responded. “There’s no way that we could have achieved that level of security in those places without the wall.”
“What is very, very interesting,” the chief continued, “is that when you have a border that is exploitable, that needs a lot of work, you have a commensurate level of cartel violence on the south side.”