SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Joint Task Force – West (JTF-W) Director Manuel Padilla, Jr. told Breitbart News that physical barriers on the U.S. southern border actually do matter during a 45-minute exclusive interview.
“Do you think the physical barriers really do matter?” Breitbart News Border and Cartels Director Brandon Darby asked Director Padilla. “Oh absolutely, absolutely,” the director emphatically responded.
“I actually started talking about those things when we were very busy in South Texas,” Padilla explained. “And if you look at it proportionally, the tactical infrastructure that we have — to include the walls — is a lot less in South Texas than in other parts of the country.”
Prior to his appointment as the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force — West, Padilla served as Chief Patrol agent for the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector — the nation’s busiest sector for migrant apprehensions.
“That’s nobody’s fault,” the director continued, “we were very busy in El Paso, we were very busy in San Diego in years past and it’s kind of shifted traffic to different areas.”
“The 654 miles of border that we have in place have been built to some extent or another under previous administrations,” he stated. “I think this administration is focused not only on border security but on law and order in general.
“I was very hopeful, very happy when I saw that this administration was very focused on establishing the personnel, technology, and infrastructure to the levels that we are working on and also that engagement with Mexico and Central America,” Padilla concluded.
Director Padilla’s full interview with Brandon Darby:Matt Perdie
President Donald Trump appointed Director Padilla to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force — West in October 2018. The task force coordinates the assets and personnel of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal agencies to secure the U.S. southwest border.