Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through brand new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commonly available power tools and have created large enough openings for people and drugs to pass through, according to U.S. border agents and officials with knowledge of the damage.
U.S. agents told The Washington Post that the breaches have been made using a popular cordless reciprocating saw that can be purchased at local hardware stores for as little as $100.
When fitted with specialized blades, the saws can cut through the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in minutes, the newspaper noted.
The Post notes: “After cutting through the base of a single bollard, smugglers can push the steel out of the way, allowing an adult to fit through the gap. Because the bollards are so tall — and are attached only to a panel at the very top — their length makes them easier to push aside once they have been cut and are left dangling, according to engineers consulted by The Washington Post.”
Nearly a dozen agents and current and former administration officials said crews have adopted other techniques to breach the wall, including building makeshift ladders, particularly in and around San Diego, which is a popular smuggling area.
A senior administration official told the Post that they counted “a few instances” and maintained that the new fencing has “significantly increased security and deterrence” along sections of the border in the San Diego and El Centro areas in California.
Trump has repeatedly boasted to crowds about the new border barrier sections, calling them “virtually impenetrable” and likening the structure to a “Rolls-Royce” that border-crossers cannot get over, under or through.