Border Patrol officials say communities along the border are safer following the completion of 74 miles of improved border wall systems. Those systems include 30-foot bollard walls, new border-access roads, lighting, and electronic surveillance. Construction on an additional 158 miles is underway with 450 miles scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
Construction crews under the direction of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a report on Friday showing the completion of 74 miles of replacement border wall systems along the southwestern border with Mexico. Officials stated that 158 miles of additional walls are currently under construction and 276 miles are in a “pre-construction phase,” according to information provided to Breitbart News by CBP officials.
The new border wall system in Calexico, California, is the first section of replacement wall to be completed, El Centro Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Joshua C. Devack said in a video presentation on Friday. “Since the border wall system was completed in this area, local business and commerce is thriving and areas once considered dangerous are now secure,” Devack stated. “In addition, overall crime in this area has been significantly reduced thus making our community a safer place to live and work.”
Since the completion of the border wall system in Calexico, CA, overall crime in the area has been reduced making the community a safer place to live and to work. Areas once considered dangerous are now secure. To learn more: pic.twitter.com/btC1Box7AB
— CBP El Centro (@CBPElCentro) October 25, 2019
Prior to the new wall systems installed in January 2017, many sections of the border were relatively unsecured. Those areas consisted of landing mat walls that could easily be cut or climbed and other barriers designed only to stop vehicle traffic, Devack reported. The newly completed wall system includes 30-foot high bollard walls, new border-access roads allowing faster response by agents, additional lighting, and electronic surveillance systems, which provide advance warning and faster detection of border-crossing activities.
The new wall systems also provide safety for Border Patrol agents working alongside the wall.
In July, Border Patrol Agent Mike Matzke told Breitbart News in his capacity as president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Local 2554 in El Centro, California, “We’ve had people throw Molotov cocktails over the old landing mat fence and it was dangerous because we couldn’t see through it like we can with Trump’s new border barrier. Here in El Centro, we have the highest stretch of border wall on the entire Southwest border. Trump’s new wall section is 30-feet high,” Matzke said.
“A couple-mile stretch of Trump’s wall might not seem like a lot to some people, but it sure makes all the difference in the world to us,” Matzke said about the new wall in El Centro. “We are safer and our objectives are much easier to meet.”
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweeted, “The frontline men and women of @CBP tell me walls work and help them do their job. That matters. And while not everyone who crosses the border is bad, this wall is important to protect USBP agents and to stop drugs and criminals from entering your communities.”
The frontline men and women of @CBP tell me walls work and help them do their job. That matters. And while not everyone who crosses the border is bad, this wall is important to protect USBP agents and to stop drugs and criminals from entering your communities. https://t.co/ApEFmfVLTg
— Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 24, 2019
CBP spent approximately $292 million to construct 40 miles of new border wall systems in the San Diego, El Centro, and El Paso Sectors, officials stated. These walls replaced “dilapidated and outdated designs in high priority locations.” CBP funded an additional $49 million in the Rio Grande Valley Sector to build 35 border wall gates to close gaps in the existing wall systems. The gates are currently under construction, officials reported.
CBP officials report approximately 509 miles of new border wall systems are identified for construction projects. These projects will be funded by a combination of Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense funding and proceeds from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund. Those plans include approximately 141 miles of new primary walls, 24 miles of new primary levee walls, 68 miles of replacement primary walls for dilapidated designs, 205 miles for primary walls replacing existing vehicle barriers, 14 miles of secondary walls in place of dilapidated designs, and 57 miles of new secondary walls.
“Every new mile of new border wall system—including new barrier, technology, lighting, and roads—delivers new capability that will help my men and women immensely in their efforts to safely and effectively secure the border,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a written statement.