Sections of former President Donald Trump’s border wall between the United States and Mexico continue to cost the government millions in maintenance to repair sections breached by smugglers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection records obtained by The Washington Post show suspected smuggling gangs successfully hacked into the heavy steel bollards that make up the fence 3,272 times between 2019 and 2021.
The cost to repair the 30-foot-tall beams was $2.6 million during that time, according to CBP records.
A keystone of his campaign and mantra at his rallies, Trump promised an impenetrable barrier along the border, but reports soon surfaced of smugglers using common construction equipment to saw through the bollards.
In March 2021, an entire section of the border fence was cut to allow two SUVs driven by apparent smugglers to enter the United States. One of the vehicles, a Ford Expedition carrying 25 people, was hit by a tractor-trailer in what immigration officials have called one of the deadliest road accidents involving migrants sneaking into the United States
After three months of increased migrant encounters along the US-Mexico border in late 2021, there were 154,000 in January – a 15% drop – according to court records in a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas against the Biden administration.
President Biden called for immigration reform in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, receiving support from some GOP lawmakers.
“He said in his references to immigration reform, he said, securing the border. These are words we thought we would never hear from a Democratic president again,” Republican Senator Kevin Cramer said on “Morning in America.” “I’ve often thought we might be close to getting something on immigration if you know if everyone would listen to each other and find a balance point.”
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