The Department of Homeland Security had plans to discuss constructing border fences in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
This was revealed in a February weekly report from the U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) obtained by The Daily Caller through a Freedom of Information Act request. The IBWC was established in 1889 and applies water and boundary treaties between the U.S. and Mexico.
A line in the report states: “DHS is planning to visit us in El Paso on February 1st to discuss their plans to construct additional border fences along the border and within the waters of the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.”
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman did not deny in a statement to TheDC Thursday that this remains a possibility. However, in an updated statement Friday, CBP spokesman Roger Maier said: “The February 1 meeting mentioned in the IBWC document never occurred. CBP withdrew the request because there was nothing substantive to discuss. CBP is not aware of any discussions regarding the Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico from a border wall perspective.”
The U.S. does have border fencing that runs 300 feet into the Pacific Ocean at the border between San Diego and Tijuana, but the CBP could not give any specifics about what border fencing in the Gulf of Mexico would look like.
Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, imagined border fencing in the Gulf of Mexico being similar to the one on San Diego’s Imperial Beach. He told TheDC it could stop people from “stepping into the Gulf and going into waist deep water and coming in that way.”
Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, echoed this sentiment and said, “It might go out into the water like the fence in San Diego.” He added, “Maybe they just included it in the statement to be thorough.”
CBP is currently soliciting proposals for the planned southern border wall, and prototypes will be built in San Diego. Congress has yet to appropriate the necessary funds for the construction of a wall along the entirety of the border President Trump has ordered to be built.
Updated on Friday with new statement from CBP