When former President Donald Trump ended his four-year term, his “big, beautiful” border wall became a disaster. For starters, out of 2,000 mile-stretch of the border, the Trump presidency only completed less than 500 miles. Secondly, the border that the Trump administration had constructed wasn’t effective at all.
According to an unpublished US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report obtained by the Washington Post, the border wall has been breached 3,272 times in the past three years.
The Post reports that between the 2019 and 2021 fiscal years, the government spent $2.6 million to repair the problem areas.
“While the agency has acknowledged that smugglers are able to hack through the new barriers built by the Trump administration, the maintenance records show damage has been more widespread than previously known, pointing to the structure’s limitations as an impediment to illegal crossings,” according to the Post.
So how are the suspected smuggling gangs getting through? With basic power tools, angle grinders, and demolition saws.
Luis Miranda, a spokesman for CBP, said in a statement that adequate border security “requires a variety of resources and efforts, infrastructure, technology, and personnel.”
He added, “No structure is impenetrable, so we will continue to work to focus resources on modern, effective border management measures to improve safety and security.”
President Joe Biden halted all work on Trump’s efforts to reconstruct the border wall. However, the president has said they are managing border security differently.
According to the White House, the president’s budget redirects funds from Trump’s border wall to make robust investments in more competent border security measures, such as border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border.
Last June, the Biden administration announced it was returning $2.2 billion in Defense Department funds diverted for the wall to use the money for 66 previously deferred defense projects, including a missile field expansion in Alaska and a school for US military children in Germany.
In 2019, Trump was asked about the issues with his border wall. He responded by saying, “We have a very powerful wall. But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything.”