Smuggling gangs from Mexico are reportedly using tools commonly found in households in order to cut holes in newly-constructed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, allowing them to enter the country illegally, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Per The Washington Post, U.S. agents and officials with knowledge of the practice said that the smugglers were able to create holes in the wall large enough to smuggle both people and drugs from Mexico into the U.S. The smugglers are reportedly using a reciprocating saw, which The Washington Post reported could be purchased at a home improvement store for under $100, to cut through the steel and concrete structure in just a few minutes. The tool requires a special attachment, according to the report.
The practice reportedly involves cutting through the base of what is called a bollard, which allows the long rod structure to dangle from the top. The smugglers then – with relative ease – can push the bollard out of the way in order to fit through the opening.
As The Washington Post reported, the border wall – a Hallmark of Trump’s 2016 campaign for president and goal in the White House – has cost taxpayers some $10 billion. The president at recent campaign events for his 2020 re-election campaign has often espoused that the new wall is nearly indestructible, reportedly referring to the structure as the “Rolls Royce” of border security, The Washington Post said.
Per The Washington Post, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has not yet responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request the D.C. newspaper filed, where it requested data for how many instances this scenario has occurred. An anonymous U.S. official reportedly said that it has only happened a few times and claimed that the new border wall construction method had significantly deterred illegal crossings where it had been installed.
Democrats have regularly clashed with the 45th president over the border wall, which has faced many roadblocks since the president took office in 2017. Earlier this week, Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the president and Ken Cuccinelli, his acting director of U.S. citizenship and immigration services, white supremacists over the administration’s history of immigration policies.
Anonymous officials also told The Washington Post that the breaches of the new border wall have occurred in sections where new sensors have yet to be installed that they say will more quickly allow them to detect the presence of vibrations caused by a saw. The officials also praised the new steel bollard design of the structure, claiming that it was easily reparable after a breach when compared to previous methods.