President Trump’s new border wall is doing exactly what he said it would do: prevent illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S.
According to Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, the new wall “changes everything.”
Scott’s data shows that the new “wall system” is blocking 90% of attempting crossings–compared to just 10% of crossings with the old system, made up of intermittent and broken fencing.
In some areas, the impact is even more pronounced. In South Texas, just 4-5% of illegal trafficking makes it across the border–down from 90%. In some areas, like San Diego, Scott said that the wall has effectively cut illegal crossings to zero.
The wall, which is made up of a row of tall metal bollards, is especially effective at stopping cars from making the trip–the preferred method of crossing the border.
Unlike older fencing, which could be quickly demolished by illegal immigrants, multiple bollards have to be tediously sawed off to create an opening big enough for a car–giving Border Patrol agents plenty of time to get on the scene.
The new construction has also been effective at stopping drug cartels from building expensive tunnels, or trying to smuggle drugs in on vehicles.
“It shut down that entire threat,” said Scott. “Anywhere we built the border wall system, the first thing it does is shut off those drive-throughs. The second thing is, it shuts off massive amounts of people coming through at the same time. So, it’s forced the drug cartels, especially El Chapo’s group, Sinaloa, to shift tactics.”
Despite the early success, President Trump’s signature project is far from done: right now, 131 miles of new border wall has been constructed, while 622 additional miles remain in various phases of construction and planning.