Former Border Chief: Arizona Wall Put A Dramatic Stop To Illegal Crossings

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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A former border chief cites an Arizona wall that dramatically cut illegal immigrant crossings as proof barriers can work to keep people out in testimony prepared for a Senate hearing Tuesday.

The wall built on the southern border near Yuma resulted in 94 percent fewer illegal crossings, former deputy Border Patrol chief Ronald Colburn says in the testimony previewed by Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner. Calling the results “impressive,” Colburn cites the wall to refute the commonly stated argument that President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall is a waste of time and money, because it wouldn’t actually stop illegal immigrants from crossing. (RELATED: Will Trump’s Wall Work? This Chart Has The Answer)

Before the Yuma fence was built, Colburn says the Yuma Border Patrol identified 2,706 times in a one year period when smugglers loaded up a vehicle with drugs and/or people and simply drove across the border. Just 13 of them were detected and stopped by immigration authorities. “The rest all got away, with no idea what or who they brought in,” his testimony notes.

After the fence was built, however, only six vehicles tried to cross the border, and every one of them was captured or turned back.

“by 2008, Yuma Sector arrests of illicit border crossers and traffickers had dwindled down from over 138,000 down to 8,363,” Colburn states in his testimony. “The known attempts to enter and the got-aways dwindled to an equally minimal number compared to the hundreds of thousands that entered and evaded arrest in previous years.”

Colburn is set to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee Tuesday, when the full committee will examine fencing along the southern border. David Aguilar, former Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, and Terence Garett, professor and chair of the Public Affairs and Security Studies Department at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, will also testify.

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