Why Walls Work

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December 12, 2018

WE ARE BUILDING THE FIRST NEW BORDER WALL IN A DECADE.

DHS is committed to building a wall at our southern border and building a wall quickly. Under this President, we are building a new wall for the first time in a decade that is 30-feet high to prevent illegal entry and drug smuggling.

FACT: Prior to President Trump taking office, we have never built a border wall that high.

Once funding was provided, DHS began construction of a border wall quickly, in some locations in as little as nine months from funding to building – a process that commonly takes two years or more in other parts of Government. By the end of FY 2019, DHS expects to have construction completed or underway for more than 120 miles in the areas it’s most needed by the U.S. Border Patrol. The pace of construction has picked up as initial limiting factors like land acquisition and funding have been addressed.

 
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The El Centro Sector built approximately two miles of 30' steel bollard wall west of the Calexico West Port of Entry. The contract was awarded in November 2017, construction started in February 2018 and was completed in October 2018.

In FY 2017 Congress provided DHS $292 million to build 40 miles of a steel bollard wall in the San Diego, El Centro and El Paso Sectors – Border Patrol’s highest priority locations – in place of an outdated and operationally ineffective barrier. DHS received its FY17 funding for border wall construction in May 2017.

DHS awarded the first contract against that funding in November 2017 and began construction three months later in February 2018. As of November 21, 2018, CBP has constructed more than 31 of the 40 miles with the remaining 9 miles scheduled for completion by early 2019.


 
  • El Centro Project (2.25 miles): Completed.
  • El Paso Project (20 miles): Completed
  • San Diego Primary Project (14 miles): Completion anticipated in May 2019.
  • El Paso Project (4 miles): Construction started in September.

 
The El Centro Sector built approximately two miles of 30' steel bollard wall west of the Calexico West Port of Entry. The contract was awarded in November 2017, construction started in February 2018 and was completed in October 2018.
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How effective is this new border wall?  On Sunday, when a violent mob of 1,000 people stormed our Southern border, we found the newly constructed portions of the wall to be very effective.  In the area of the breach, a group of people tore a hole in the old landing mat fence constructed decades ago and pushed across the border.

U.S. Border Patrol agents who responded to the area ultimately dispersed the crowd, which had become assaultive, and apprehended several individuals.  All of the individuals were either apprehended or retreated into Mexico.  That evening, the fence was repaired.  There were no breaches along the newly constructed border wall areas.


In FY18, Congress provided $1.375B for border wall construction which equates to approximately 84 miles of border wall in multiple locations across the Southwest border, including:


 
  • $251M for a secondary border wall in the San Diego Sector
  • $445M to construct a new levee wall system in the Rio Grande Valley Sector
  • $196M to construct a new steel bollard wall system in Rio Grande Valley Sector
  • $445M for a primary pedestrian wall in San Diego, El Centro, Yuma and Tucson Sectors


What’s next you might ask? When combined with the funds provided in FY 2017 and FY 2018, if funded at $5B in FY 2019 DHS expects to construct more than 330 miles of border wall in the U.S. Border Patrol’s highest priority locations across the Southwest border.

DHS is positioned to construct 215 miles of Border Patrol’s highest priority border wall miles including:


 
  • ~5 miles in San Diego Sector in California
  • ~14 miles in El Centro Sector in California
  • ~27 miles in Yuma Sector in Arizona
  • ~9 miles in El Paso Sector in New Mexico
  • ~55 miles in Laredo Sector in Texas
  • ~104 miles in Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas



The Bottom Line:  Walls Work. When it comes to stopping drugs and illegal aliens from crossing our borders, border walls have proven to be extremely effective. Border security relies on a combination of border infrastructure, technology, personnel and partnerships with law enforcement at the state, local, tribal, and federal level.

For example, when we installed a border wall in the Yuma Sector, we have seen border apprehensions decrease by 90 percent. In San Diego, we saw on Sunday that dilapidated, decades-old barriers are not sufficient for today’s threat and need to be removed so new – up to 30 foot wall sections can be completed.


 
Walls Work. When it comes to stopping drugs and illegal aliens across our borders, border walls have proven to be extremely effective. Border security relies on a combination of border infrastructure, technology, personnel and partnerships with law enforcement at the state, local, tribal, and federal level.
 
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehends over 1,100 people a day crossing the border illegally. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refuses entry to 7 known or suspected terrorists every day, 50 every week, and 2,500 every year.
 
  • DHS has seen a 300 percent increase in unaccompanied alien children (UACs) in the last eight months of 2017 – and a 600 percent increase in family units.
 
  • In Fiscal Year 2017, Border Patrol saw a 73 percent increase in assaults on officers along the Southwest border.

  • Thousands of aliens illegally re-enter the United States each year, with approximately 15,700 sentenced for illegal reentry in fiscal year 2016. This does not even include the many thousands more who evade detection, or those who are not charged with illegal reentry as part of a plea agreement.


 
  • The border jurisdictions bear the brunt of illegal alien crime, which is a large portion of the total crime in the United States. Of the 53,908 criminal cases filed by federal prosecutors in the 94 U.S. District Courts in fiscal year 2016, 23,573 cases (43.7 percent) were located in just the five border districts (Arizona, Southern District of California, New Mexico, Southern District of Texas, and Western District of Texas). In the five border districts, noncitizens accounted for 73.5 percent of all federal offenders sentenced for felonies or Class A misdemeanors in fiscal year 2016, and 47 percent of all federal non-immigration felonies or Class A misdemeanors.

  • Half of all federal criminal cases filed in U.S. District Courts in fiscal year 2016 (25,965 of 53,908 cases) were referred by the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Simply put—walls work. They have worked in Yuma, Arizona as a result of the 2006 Bipartisan Secure Border Act. They have also worked in San Diego. Both areas have seen 95 percent drops in attempted illegal border crossings.

  • Only 3.5 percent of UACs apprehended are eventually removed from the United States.

 
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