A 20-foot gap in the border wall left when Joe Biden ordered a halt to construction has become a point of entry where thousands of smugglers and illegal migrants have entered this year.
Reportedly, Border Patrol agents have taken it upon themselves to improvise a barrier with bits and pieces of construction materials and old used-up tires and anything else they can find, including materials left as federal contractors packed up in a rush and left back in Jan. 2021.
Border Patrol agent Richard Barragan said that "The contractors just stopped," and looked to the broken, unfinished wall that remained after the work ceased," according to the New York Post.
The gap in the 30-foot-high border fence is only around 20 feet, but it appears to give a huge advantage to smugglers who use it to slip past the overworked Border Patrol agents, who collectively have to regularly comb an area of some 125,000 square miles.
Despite being stretched thin by the lack of personnel and the gap in the border wall, agents have managed to detain an incredible 155,892 people between Oct. 1 2020 and the present date, some weeks still shy of the department's full fiscal year.
In the fiscal period ending on Sept. 30 2020, by comparison, they had only apprehended 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 Biden administration has recently re-allocated $2.2 billion in funds previously to be used for the border wall for other purposes.
It's no secret, however, 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 also agreed to build his state's own wall with or without cooperation from the Biden administration.