'An expensive failure': New report exposes the unpublished data behind Trump's 'impenetrable' border wall

'An expensive failure': New report exposes the unpublished data behind Trump's 'impenetrable' border wall
President Donald J. Trump meets U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott as he walks along the completed 200th mile of new border wall Tuesday, June 23, 2020, along the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma, Ariz. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

When former President Donald Trump was on the campaign trail, he spoke numerous times about erecting an "impenetrable" border wall while promising his supporters that it would combat the uptick in illegal immigrants crossing the border. However, a newly-released report proves otherwise.

According to The Washington Post, the impassable wall, which spans over 458 miles across remote parts of Arizona and New Mexico, has reportedly been breached thousands of times. Details about the recorded breaches were reportedly found in unpublished data compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The information, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed Mexican smugglers managed to breach the wall a total of 3,272 times over three years."

The report also highlights the cost of expenses to repair the wall as a result of breaches. Between 2019 and 2021, the federal government spent approximately $2.6 million to repair the wall and, according to CBP, "the maintenance records show damage has been more widespread than previously known, pointing to the structure’s limitations as an impediment to illegal crossings."

So, how are smugglers able to break through the presumably impassable barrier? The report suggests it's not as difficult as one might assume. The Washington Post's Nick Miroff offered a quick breakdown of how the breaches are occurring.

Per The Post:

"Smuggling gangs typically cut the barrier with inexpensive power tools widely available at retail hardware stores, including angle grinders and demolition saws. Once the 18-to-30-foot-tall bollards are severed near the ground, their only remaining point of attachment is at the top of the structure, leaving the steel beam dangling in the air. It easily swings open with a push, creating a gap wide enough for people and narcotics to pass through."

Luis Miranda, a spokesperson for the government agency, weighed in on the report with facts about border security. According to Miranda, effective border protocols "requires a variety of resources and efforts, infrastructure, technology, and personnel.”

In a statement, he also noted that: “No structure is impenetrable, so we will continue to work to focus resources on modern, effective border management measures to improve safety and security."

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