Beren wrote:If you look at the timeline and the developing of this 'crisis' it seems very well-timed for Trump, however, he and his congressional buddies lost the House anyway and now Trump is losing the shutdown blame game gamble. Maybe he shouldn't have started it with taking the blame live on national television.
I agree with that. I told one of my sons that I thought Trump made a bad move by saying that he would take the blame for the shut down. However, Trump does say a host of stupid things that he later has to pull back on. But he also got elected in part to build the wall, because most common sense mined people knew barriers were needed for years to keep criminal aliens out while issuing visas for a period of time to those that wanted to come in to work. Border Patrol Makes Its Case For An Expanded 'Border Barrier'
January 11, 2019
Senior Border Patrol officials are taking up President Trump's call for more miles of border barrier, pushing back against congressional Democrats who say additional fencing is unnecessary.
During a ride-along with the Border Patrol on Wednesday in its San Diego sector, agents made it clear that the fence deters illegal crossers.
"I started in the San Diego sector in 1992 and it didn't matter how many agents we lined up," said Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott. "We could not make a measurable impact on the flow [of undocumented immigrants] across the border. It wasn't until we installed barriers along the border that gave us the upper hand that we started to get control."
Forty-six of the 60 miles of border in the San Diego sector are currently protected by some type of barrier. Scott says in the places where he has two levels of fencing he achieves 90 percent operational control.
Scott was interviewed in a clearing at the base of the San Ysidro Mountains, a rugged sierra in southern San Diego County. For years, agents have considered the harsh terrain here to be a natural deterrent to illegal crossers. It is mainly Bureau of Land Management land with rocky inclines covered in cactus and juniper.
Even though the traffic here is at relatively low levels, the San Diego sector is now seeking 5 miles of additional fencing across this mountainous ground to stop the illegal movement of humans and drugs.
"Every night people come through this canyon," said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael Scappechio. "If we put in a border barrier, we can utilize the [agent] manpower elsewhere."
He added that a steel fence is a smarter border defense than having agents in ATVs or on foot chasing people crossing illegally through remote and rocky ravines, which is dangerous for the pursuer and the pursued.
Currently, according to the spokesperson for the CBP's San Diego sector, they're spending $10.5 million a mile to replace 14 miles of old fencing with 18-foot-tall, state-of-the-art, steel bollard barrier between San Diego County and Tijuana. Trump has asked for an additional $5.7 billion for 234 miles of new steel slat fencing in sections along the entire U.S.-Mexico boundary. That works out to $24.4 million a mile. Critics have demanded to know why Trump's wall is so much more expensive than current fence construction.
A senior official with Customs and Border Protection told NPR that the added expense comes from building access roads, installing sensors and acquiring private land — which accounts for most of the borderland in Texas.
A veteran Border Patrol agent in the San Diego sector, who asked not to be named, said he and other agents are in favor of more miles of robust fencing. "Natural barriers don't work anymore. [Illegal crossers] come right through mountains and deserts now."