by WorldTribune Staff, November 27, 2018
The ability of migrants to quickly tear through fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana and San Diego is proof that a border wall is needed, U.S. Border Patrol officials say.
“Without a doubt we could use a wall in an area like that,” Brian Hastings, deputy chief of law enforcement operations, told The Hill on Nov. 26.
Large areas of border fencing are made of “landing mat” which consists of corrugated steel that was used as helicopter landing pads in the Vietnam War. The material was installed on the border 25 years ago.
“It is certainly out of date and does not meet our requirement for what we need with a wall,” Border Patrol chief Carla Provost told Fox News on Nov. 26.
Migrants were spotted breaking through the fencing in at least two spots on Nov. 25, reports say.
“At one spot, a group of migrants found or made a gap between the old corrugated fencing and the newer anti-ram fence, where they were repelled by U.S. law enforcement using tear gas,” The Epoch Times reported.
In another incident, a group of migrants climbed over and pulled down a part of the fence.
“[It] was quickly torn apart, if you will, by several of the subjects there, who were also throwing rocks and projectiles at our agents,” Hastings said.
About 6,000 migrants are gathered in Tijuana and another 2,000 in the Mexicali area, some 75 miles east of Tijuana. Several thousand more are reported headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We have not seen a caravan in the past that is so willing to use violent methods and force, sheer numbers, to overwhelm and basically get what they want,” Hastings said.
Most of the migrants are military-aged men looking for jobs or better-paid jobs, based on interviews conducted by The Epoch Times.
The interviewees “mostly said they were expecting to apply for asylum in the United States, despite the fact that asylum is only allowed for people escaping certain kinds of persecution,” The Epoch Times reported.
Only 9 percent of Central American migrants who claim asylum at the border are granted it by an immigration judge, according to the Justice Department.
Congress has approved about $3.2 billion in funding for the wall in the 2018 and 2019 budgets. President Donald Trump said he would prefer to have the wall built in one go.
The Trump administration previously requested $18 billion for the wall, while House Republicans proposed $25 billion. Trump has previously said he’d be willing to shut down the government over border security funding.