Smugglers cut massive hole in US-Mexico border wall to drive a truck through; 16 immigrants arrested
President Donald Trump might feel ecstatic with his success in making his pet border wall project a reality, even at the expense of military projectselsewhere in the nation and overseas, but the ground reality is not giving the wall caretakers a good night’s sleep. It has been reported earlier that smugglers are doing it smartly to bluff the patrol by making gaping holes in the steel-and-concrete wall with $100 saws. But as the debate over the wall continues, the breach of an "old landing mat wall" by smugglers in California who even drove a truck through it could boost the pro-wall voices to have more hard fence in place across the southern border.
According to a report in The Sacramento Bee, the smugglers made a gaping hole in the wall in Campo in California, located about 50 miles east of San Diego, before federal agents tracked them down. All 16 people on board the truck — who were from Mexico and Guatemala — were arrested.
The report cited a press release from the US Customs and Border Protection officials on Thursday, November 21, to say the plan was executed around 3:45 pm on Wednesday, November 20, while the US remained busy with the explosive testimony that US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland gave during an impeachment hearing against Trump.
The smugglers drove a white Dodge utility truck through the hole, according to the officials. At 4 pm, the agents spotted a man with a truck that matched the description and activated the emergency lights and siren to stop it. The driver, however, refused to obey the order and fled, the officials said. The man was also seen trying to cut a private fence with bolt cutters, the agents added.
14 Mexicans, 2 Guatemalans arrested
The escape wasn’t successful as the agents soon caught the truck. Those on board then reportedly tried to flee on foot but ended up being caught, the report added.
“All 16 admitted to entering the US illegally and were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing,” the agents said. The group featured nine Mexican men aged between 15 and 53, five Mexican women aged between 18 and 40 and a man, 28, and woman, 29, from Guatemala. The stolen vehicle was being driven by a 27-year-old Mexican and he was set to be “criminally prosecuted”. The truck was seized.
US Border Patrol officials at the San Diego sector later shared pictures of the damaged wall with McClatchy News Group and said the smugglers made the hole in the old wall to “facilitate an alien smuggling attempt”.
In a statement, San Diego Sector Interim Chief Douglas Harrison said the “breach of this old landing mat wall is illustrative of the need for more hardened infrastructure with greater impedance and denial capabilities to keep the area secure.” He also warned of the dangerous consequences that such an act could lead to in terms of accidents and deaths.