REPORT: Obama-Era Border Fence Was Regularly Breached

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In six years during the Obama administration, a new report reveals that “illegal entrants cut 9,287 holes in the pedestrian fencing along the border.”

“Between fiscal years 2010 and 2015, CBP recorded a total of 9,287 breaches in pedestrian fencing,” says a new report from the Government Accountability Office GAO. “According to our analysis of these data, illegal entrants breached legacy pedestrian fencing at an average rate of 82 breaches per fence mile, compared to an average of 14 breaches per fence mile of modern pedestrian fencing.”

An original version of this report was presented before Congress on December 22nd, 2016, however, Department of Homeland Security officials deemed it too sensitive to be disclosed in its entirety to the public. A redacted version was released to the public on February 16th.

Fencing designed to deter pedestrians currently covers 354 miles of the U.S./Mexican border, which is 1,954 miles long. An article on Thursday in explained that there are different types of border barriers in the southern U.S., including “pedestrian” fencing and 300 miles of “vehicle” fencing. There is “legacy” fencing, which refers to border fencing that was made from leftover Vietnam War-era landing mats as well as fencing designs that were used before Congress enacted the Secure Fence Act in 2006. Fencing developed after that is known as “modern” fencing.

Reinforced by two more layers of fencing, pedestrian fencing should “slow down and deter pedestrians from crossing the border,” said the GAO report, which further notes that vehicle fencing along the border is designed “to resist vehicles engaged in drug trafficking and alien smuggling operations and is typically used in rural or isolated locations that have a low occurrence of illegal pedestrian traffic.” However, “vehicle” fencing does not stop smugglers and others from illegally crossing the U.S. border on foot.

It is common for people to cut holes in the existing border fences so they can enter the United States illegally, states the report. Each hole costs taxpayers an average of $784 to fix.

Revealed in the report is the fact that it took seven years for DHS to approve replacement of “compromised” fencing in New Mexico’s Sunland Park, which faces El Paso, Texas. “Sector officials stated that modern pedestrian fencing in downtown El Paso, Texas, had diverted illegal entrant activity to Sunland Park, New Mexico, where the primary legacy pedestrian fencing is compromised,” according to the GAO report, which noted that the area was regularly breached as a result.

“Agents we spoke with in the El Paso and Tucson sectors explained that one of the most common methods employed by illegal entrants involves cutting openings, or breaches, in pedestrian and vehicle fencing,” said the report. “Once breached, illegal entrants can cross through the fence or smuggle people and contraband into the United States.” Border agents said that holes made in legacy fencing were often made with pipe cutters and power tools. Other areas of the fence are even low enough for people to just jump over.

During the past six years, the report estimated that illegals cut an average of 4.2 holes into the fencing every day.

H/T: CNS News

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