U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced the construction start of eight miles of a new border wall barrier system in the nation’s busiest sector. The construction project covers eight miles of the Rio Grande border where no barrier currently exists.
CBP officials partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began the installation of new bollard wall sections in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector. The RGV Sector is the nation’s busiest in terms of illegal border crossings along with cocaine and marijuana seizures, according to information obtained by CBP officials. Most of the illegal activity in this sector occurs in areas along the Rio Grande where no barrier infrastructure exists.
“The new border wall system will improve the RGV Sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations,” CBP officials stated.
RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch added, “Having previously worked in Tucson Sector, I’ve seen how walls are extremely effective in changing the operational environment in which we work. Locations where physical barriers have been constructed saw reduced illegal immigration flows, organized smuggling, and environmental degradation.”
Officials report the new border wall system consists of approximately eight miles of a new levee wall system. The new wall is being constructed where there is currently no physical barrier to preclude illegal border crossings and drug smuggling, officials stated. Once completed, the new barrier will also provide an all-weather road to provide rapid response to border crossing detections and surveillance technology to increase situational awareness. The project is similar to those already completed in the San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, and El Paso Sectors.
During Fiscal Year 2019, which ended on September 30, Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 340,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Texas, according to the 2019 Southwest Border Migration Report. This represents approximately 40 percent of all migrant apprehensions in the nine southwest Border Patrol sectors. Of those, 211,631 were migrants families and 34,523 were unaccompanied minors. Migrant family apprehensions increased by 234 percent in FY19 while the apprehension of unaccompanied minors increased by 45 percent.
“Since January 2017, approximately $9.8 billion has been identified to construct approximately 509 miles of new border wall system through a combination of Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense funding and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund,” CBP officials stated. “This includes approximately 110 miles of new levee and border wall system within USBP’s RGV Sector in areas where no barriers currently exist.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face