Reportedly, Border Patrol agents have taken it upon themselves to improvise a bar with bits and pieces of construction materials and old used-up tires, and anything else they can get, including materials left as federal contractors, packed up in a hurry and left back in Jan. 2021.
Border Patrol agent Richard Barragan explained that "The contractors just stopped," and looked to the broken, plain wall that remained after the work ceased," according to the New York Post.
The gap in the 30-foot-high border fence is only about 20 feet, though it seems to give a huge advantage to smugglers who use it to slip past the overworked Border Patrol agents, who collectively have to regularly comb a space of some 125,000 square miles.
Notwithstanding being stretched thin by the lack of personnel and the gap in the border wall, agents have succeeded to detain an incredible 155,892 people between Oct. 1 2020, and the pres
ent date, some weeks still shy of the department's entire fiscal year.
In the fiscal period closing on Sept. 30 2020, by comparison, they had only seized 54,396 people, meaning that this year detentions are up by almost three times.
"We have some agents who are good welders, and they put it all together," commented Richard Barragan, a Border Patrol agent working in the area. "Any infrastructure is helpful to us. These are just some of the challenges we face every day."
The Department of Homeland Security announced in June that it would redirect the construction cash — which it called “just one example of the prior Administration’s misplaced priorities and failure to manage migration in a safe, orderly, and humane way” — to the Pentagon for building projects on US military bases.
“Appropriated funds could also be used for mitigating some environmental damage caused by border wall construction,” the statement noted.
The Biden administration has lately re-allocated $2.2 billion in funds previously to be used for the border wall for other objects.It's no secret, though, that the Border Patrol in general overwhelmingly supports the border wall. Gloria Chavez, the El Paso sector's chief agent, commented:
"The wall enhances my officers' safety. It delays entry and allows the agent to have the advantage. Additionally, it protects the agent." Texas's Gov. Greg Abbott has further agreed to build his state's own wall with or without assistance from the Biden administration.