In mid-September, Donald Trump visited Otay Mesa, a Southern California community near San Diego that borders Mexico in the suburbs of the city of Tijuana. It is one of the areas most used by “coyotes” and traffickers to smuggle undocumented immigrants and drugs into the United States.
The Trump Administration is building part of Trump’s wall section here – in fact, it’s an improvement on the fence that was there until now – and the U.S. president came to celebrate the works. “It’s virtually impenetrable,” he said of the barrier, which is not a wall, but the design that his government finally opted for: a fence more than nine meters high made up of steel beams filled with cement and topped by steel plates. You can’t cross or climb over it, Trump said. “This wall cannot be climbed,” he boasted.
Coyotes and traffickers have a different opinion. The fence is being cut with conventional saws, allowing people and drugs to enter. Traffickers use saws that can be purchased at any specialty store for as little as $100. After making a cut in the beam, the height of the beam makes it easy to move and make room for people and packages to pass through.
Several members of the security forces working on the border have recognized this, and also admit that the fence can be climbed. It is a risky operation, but people have been detected using homemade ladders made of steel bars from the Mexican side and then a hanging ladder to disembark on U.S. territory.
It’s a cat-and-mouse game between traffickers and border police. When the first saw the beam, they try to return it to its original point so that it does not show that it has been cut. The agents have learned to detect the beams that are damaged: you can see by pushing them. They are repaired by welding, but these arrangements make them easier to cut back later. Traffickers sometimes leave a filler to make it look like that beam has been welded.
Despite these problems, authorities say the new fence design is more difficult to pass through than it was before. After the article was published, Trump put aside the impenetrability of his wall, to which he has dedicated $10 billion from the U.S. public treasury, although in the campaign, when it was the symbol of his rise to power, he promised Mexican will pay it.