Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Taken by Yesica Uvina
BUILDING STRONGER BORDERS: President Donald J. Trump is visiting prototypes for the border wall designed to help secure our Southwest border.
President Trump is visiting the eight Southwest border wall prototypes located near San Diego, California.
The President signed Executive Order 13767 on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements shortly after taking office. The order called for the planning, design, and construction of a border wall.
Construction of the eight border wall prototypes was completed in late October 2017.
The border wall prototypes each stand approximately 30 feet high; four were constructed with concrete and four were constructed with other materials.
A period of testing and evaluation began following the completion of construction.
During the period of testing and evaluation, the prototypes were assessed on a range of characteristics including:
Impedance and denial of traffic, and
Border Patrol agent safety.
WALLS WORK: Physical barriers such as walls are a proven, effective means of securing our Southwest border.
For more than 30 years, physical barriers have proven to provide a significant boost to border security, especially when complemented by the right combination of technology and personnel.
A case study by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed the effectiveness of physical barriers in the Yuma Sector along the border in Arizona.
In 2005, the Yuma Sector was inundated with illegal border crossings and drug smuggling.
There were 138,438 illegal alien apprehensions in the Yuma Sector during fiscal year (FY) 2005.
From 2006 to 2007, the Yuma Sector added 23 miles of primary pedestrian wall and added more than 600 additional agents, along with other security infrastructure.
After implementing these security measures, the Yuma Sector experienced an 82 percent decrease in illegal entries and illegal drug seizures jumped by more than 8,000 percent.
When coupled with technology and agents, physical barriers such as walls provide a comprehensive system that further enhances border security.
BORDER SECURITY NEEDS: More resources are needed to secure our borders and deter illegal immigration.
Despite dedicated efforts by President Trump’s Administration, more resources are needed to fully secure our Southwest border.
In May 2017, the United States began seeing a month-to-month increase in Southwest border apprehensions.
During FY 2017, CBP reported 310,531 apprehensions by Border Patrol agents.
More than 140,000 arrests and more than 225,000 removals were made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in FY 2017.
Securing our borders is key to cutting off the flow of illegal drugs into our country, as most attempts to smuggle illicit contraband into the United States occur along the Southwest border.
In FY 2017, Border Patrol seized 9,346 pounds of cocaine, 953 pounds of heroin, 861,231 pounds of marijuana, and 10,328 pounds of methamphetamine.
Border Patrol seizures of fentanyl in FY 2018, 221 pounds, have already exceed the total for all of FY 2017, 181 pounds.
Two milligrams of fentanyl is a lethal dose, meaning the 221 pounds seized this fiscal year through February is enough to kill more than 50 million Americans.
Strengthening our borders will help protect our communities from threats such as MS-13 and other transnational gangs.
Border Patrol agents arrested 536 gang-affiliated illegal aliens in FY 2017, more than 40 percent of whom were affiliated with MS-13.
In FY 2017, ICE Homeland Security Investigations made 4,818 criminal arrests related to gang activity, including nearly 800 MS-13 gang members.
There are more gang-affiliated aliens that need to be arrested, detained, and removed from our country.
A FRAMEWORK FOR SECURING OUR BORDERS: President Trump has released an immigration framework which provides the tools needed to secure our borders.
In January, President Trump released an immigration framework for policies that would provide the resources required to secure our borders and to end catch and release.
President Trump’s framework includes a $25 billion fund for the border wall system, ports of entry and exit, and Northern border improvements.
President Trump’s framework also called on the Congress to close the legal loopholes that prevent us from quickly removing criminal aliens.
Public polling shows that the American public understands our current border security is inadequate and supports efforts to improve it.
A Harvard-Harris poll from January showed that 61 percent of those polled believe our current border security is inadequate.
54 percent of those polled by Harvard-Harris support building a combination of physical and electronic barriers along our Southwest border.