CBP Deputy Commissioner: ‘Walls Work’

By Melanie Arter | March 31, 2018 | 12:15am EDT
Customs and Border Patrol Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - Customs and Border Patrol Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello addressed reports Friday that Border Patrol agents on the front lines don’t want a border wall.

He stressed the importance of a border wall in denying entry to illegal immigrants and contraband.

“I want to address something that’s been in the news lately. It’s whether our front-line operators - the dedicated men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol want and need, and these border barrier systems are what they asked for,” Vitiello said.

“The information that we’ve used and the tools that we’ve developed, and the needs that are expressed in these requirements come from the field. The U.S. Border Patrol, sector chiefs, and agents in the field have been vocal about their need for effective barriers to deny the entry of illegal aliens and contraband,” he said.

“The truth is walls work, and the data show it, and agents know it,” Vitiello said.

“DHS and CBP are fully committed to a balanced investment in physical infrastructure, access and toll roads, technology, and personnel to support critical border security missions,” he said.

Vitiello also gave an update on the administration’s efforts to build the wall. He said with President Donald Trump and his administration’s leadership and commitment to border security, funding for the wall would not be possible.

He said the eight prototypes of the wall were completed last October were built based on input and operational needs provided by Border Patrol agents.

“In San Diego, we’re looking at 14 miles of new border wall, getting rid of old, dilapidated landing mats in favor of a steel bollard wall. We’re also replacing 14 miles of secondary barrier in San Diego. In Calexico, we’re on schedule and on budget to build a new 30 foot border wall as approved by the administration. This replaces two miles of pedestrian barrier,” Vitiello said.

“More importantly, we identified this need back in 2009. In 2017, the administration fought and secured for enough funding, not only for its construction, but also for enough money to build it at the 30-foot height. Continuing east, we’re on track to 20 new miles of border wall in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Groundbreaking scheduled for April, early April,” he said.

“In addition, we have four new miles in El Paso, Texas. In the Rio Grande Valley, we’re building 35 new gates along a stretch of 55 miles of existing border wall, closing critical gaps in the current infrastructure. Finally, we plan to replace at least 47 miles of dilapidated border fencing with new border wall system in various locations along the southwest border,” he said.

CBP also plans to build 25 miles of new levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley in Hidaldo County, Vitiello said. “Border wall system provides a comprehensive solution that combines wall, lighting, enforcement, cameras and other related technology on all weather roads to impede and deny illegal cross border activity.


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