Smugglers cut hole in US-Mexico border wall and drive through it

Vittoria Elliott

Smugglers cut a hole in the border wall in Southern California and then drove a utility truck through it, according to a new report.

Sixteen people, all of whom were in the white Dodge that drove through the border wall, were later arrested by Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) once the truck had crossed into the US. Fourteen of the people arrested were Mexican, and two were Guatemalan.

Interim chief of the San Diego Sector Douglas Harrison told the Sacremento Bee that 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.”

When Mr Trump was inaugurated, walls had already been built along around a quarter of the 2,000 mile border between the US and Mexico – about 654 miles. PolitiFact found that Mr Trump’s administration has replaced some 60 miles of border wall since 2017, but has not added any new sections.

But earlier this month the Washington Post reported that smugglers were using commercial saws to cut through even the new border wall.

According to Vox, some smugglers have successfully used rubber ladders to scale the wall. In another instance, an eight-year-old girl scaled a replica of the wall in less than two minutes.

In many places on the border, natural barriers such as the Rio Grande river and the Sonora Desert form obstacles more formidable than a man-made wall.

Still, the wall has featured heavily in Mr Trump’s campaign speeches, and his administration’s attempts to push Congress to appropriate money for construction in the wall incited a government shut down earlier this year.