Donald Trump’s border wall is proving to be less effective than promised, as smugglers use $5 ladders to scale the wall. According to Yahoo News, in some areas where the wall has been rebuilt, illegal crossings have nearly doubled since the new sections went up.
In El Paso, one section of the border is reportedly “littered” with cheap hook-on ladders made out of rebar that match the rust-brown color of the border wall.
One border agent, Joe Romero, said that they destroy the ladders when they find them, but shortly after the new section of replacement wall was constructed in May, border crossing have nearly doubled in the area.
“Somebody is making money off those ladders,” Romero said. “The agents pulled it off the wall and cut it up so it can’t be used again.”
Another border agent, Ramiro Cordero, confirmed that illegal crossings are up, most likely due to the simple ladder. Last year, the area saw just over 5,000 single adult apprehensions. This year, over 10,000 were apprehended.
“We’re starting to see a lot of evading activity,” said Cordero. “We’re starting to see the criminal organizations working hand-to-hand on either side to avoid detection. More and more we are seeing ‘failure to yields’ — they are utilizing ladders to go over the fence and diversionary tactics.”
The ladders are fashioned out of rebar with four poles and two pieces of 3/8-inch rebar. Each ladder is completed with steps and a bent section at the end to form a hook that secures over the wall.
It’s possible that the rebar is being purchased at a nearby hardware store in Ciudad Juarez. For that amount of rebar, the total would come to about $5.30, making each ladder an affordable option for those looking to jump Trump’s wall.
As the New York Times reported last week, Trump promised to force Mexico to pay for the controversial wall, but so far, he hasn’t been able to make good on that promise. Most recently, the Trump administration says that it will divert $3.8 billion of funding to build part of the wall after Congress refused to authorize the full amount that Trump requested. Last year, Congress only authorized $1.375 billion.
The administration is taking heat as lawmakers say that the diversion is an abuse of power.
“This latest effort to steal congressionally appropriated military funding undermines our national security and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,” Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said in a statement.