U.S. Customs and Border Protection released drone footage over the weekend showing miles of new border wall going up in southwest Arizona.
The construction is taking place near the San Luis Port of Entry, which is just south of Yuma, with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers.
“CBP has constructed over 60 miles of new border wall system along the SW border since 2017 and expects to complete 450 miles by the end of 2020,” the agency tweeted.
It also included a video demonstrating how the 10-foot barrier the new wall system is replacing failed to impede illegal entries.
“Today, CBP has a triple-layered enforcement zone which includes an 18’ bollard wall,” CBP wrote.
Fox News reported another construction is taking place about 125 miles to the east in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The 30-foot-tall fencing is being erected near the Lukeville Port of Entry, which many Arizona residents use on their way to Rocky Point, a popular beach destination in Mexico.
Additionally, new border barrier fencing is going up along a 46-mile stretch west of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, according to ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV.
These projects are being funded with money President Donald Trump reallocated from the Defense Department via executive order earlier this year.
KNXV reported that the administration has awarded $2.8 billion in contracts for barriers covering 247 miles, with all but 17 miles of that to replace existing barriers.
About 700 miles of various forms of fencing or barriers exist along the nation’s 1,954-mile border with Mexico.
Trump argued in support of the efficacy border barriers during a televised Oval Office meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in December 2018.
He noted illegal alien traffic dropped 92 percent in the San Diego sector, 95 percent in El Paso, Texas, and 92 percent and 95 percent in Tucson and Yuma, Arizona, respectively, after fencing and other barriers were added.
Pelosi called into question those figures; however, they are in line with statistics given by the Border Patrol to NPR in 2006 following the initial erection of double and triple fencing in the San Diego area as part of the Secure Fence Act.
According to the Border Patrol, the number of apprehensions of those trying to cross the border illegally in the sector dropped from approximately 162,000 at the peak in 2008 to 26,000 in 2017.
Earlier this year, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot told Fox News the fencing also worked in his region.
“It was a 91 percent drop (in crime),” Wilmot said. “It obviously helped us curb some of the criminal activity that we, unfortunately, had to deal with.”
As in San Diego, apprehensions by Border Patrol in Yuma went from over 138,400 in 2005 to approximately 12,900 in 2017.
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