Smugglers cutting through Trump's 'virtually impenetrable' $10 billion border wall using $100 reciprocating saws
Building a wall along the US’ southern border with Mexico has been one of President Donald Trump’s high points since his campaign days ahead of the 2016 elections. He did not backtrack on the subject even after winning the presidency and took on every opponent that he faced to implement the project, irrespective of the consequences.
There have been issues of human rights violations and environmental and cultural degradations and even harsh criticism over using up military money for making the wall, but Trump has remained unfazed.
But there is another problem that Trump’s $10 billion project is encountering. According to The Washington Post, smugglers have been cutting through Trump’s wall using saws. They have reportedly made ways through steel and concrete to make gaps for people and goods to pass through into the US territory. The reciprocating saws that are being used can be easily bought for $100 and these devices can even cut steel and concrete in no time when fitted with proper blades, Customs and Border Protection agents have said.
What’s more interesting is that after making the hole, the smugglers have even returned them to their original positions so that they can be used again without getting detected by the border officials. A cat-and-mouse game is going on between the patrols and the smugglers over the damaged/repaired parts of the barrier and it is the smugglers who are winning it at the moment.
Electronic sensors to detect vibrations resulting from the use of saws have been installed in some areas, but not all, the report added. Moreover, the clever smugglers have been using makeshift ladders to climb one side of the barrier and hang ropes to go down the other side.
Steel component of the wall could be cut through: DHS
Earlier this year, an NBC report said while Trump has vowed for a steel slat design for the wall for the country’s security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that tested a steel slat prototype said it could be destroyed with a saw. NBC News also obtained an exclusive photo showing the results of the test after border patrolling personnel were asked to destroy the wall material using common tools.
On Saturday, November 2, Trump was asked by reporters outside the White House on the matter and he appeared to shrug off the concerns that the wall was vulnerable. The president even said that though the wall is powerful, one can “cut through anything”.
Speaking in the wake of the Post report, he also said vigilance is on and the wall is being fixed easily after the cutting. In September, the president said during his visit to a wall-construction in Otay Mesa, San Diego, California, that it was "virtually impenetrable" and would stop human traffickers.
“But, we have a lot of people watching. Cutting is one thing, but it’s easily fixed. One of the reasons we died it the way we did, it’s very easily fixed,” Trump said.
The vulnerability of the wall could be a major headache for the Trump campaign as the president is trying to make the most out of it ahead of the 2020 presidential election as well.