Viral footage of an illegal immigrant successfully scaling newly-built border wall appeared to reflect poorly on the effectiveness of the barrier, but a Border Patrol spokesman said the video only captured a fraction of the incident.
Omar Ornelas, a photojournalist working out of Southern California, on Tuesday tweeted out a 38-second video of two men climbing a ladder up a section of border wall. While the two men climbed, another man could be seen holding onto the flexible ladder for support. Eventually, one of the individuals successfully reaches the top and slides down the other side, reaching U.S. territory and running off.
The video was taken in Mexicali, a Mexican city just south of the border of Calexico, California. At the time of publication of this article, Ornelas’ video had been retweeted nearly 22,000 times and received three million views.
— J. Omar Ornelas (@fotornelas) December 4, 2019
While the short video clip could be interpreted as evidence of the new wall’s permeability, the individual who reached U.S. territory was actually apprehended by Border Patrol immediately.
A video produced by Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of Border Patrol, explained the unseen mechanisms in play that prevent would-be illegal aliens from simply climbing over newly built barrier.
“I’m standing in the exact location where this incident took place and I will provide you with the information that that video clip could not,” Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Joshua Devack said in a video released by CBP late Wednesday night. “The border wall system consists not only of physical barrier, but also lighting, patrol roads and detection technology.”
“In this particular incident, the border wall system worked exactly as designed. The illicit traffic was slowed down, the detection technology alerted our agents, agents responded, and the subject was apprehended,” Devack continued, adding that the subject was discovered to be a 16-year-old Mexican national.
The border wall system worked exactly as designed. The illicit traffic was slowed down, the detection technology alerted @CBPElCentro USBP agents, agents responded, and the subject was apprehended. pic.twitter.com/N9bLpob9Zg
— CBP (@CBP) December 5, 2019
U.S. authorities are currently coordinating with their Mexican government counterparts to locate the other two individuals seen on the video.
“Crossing illegally into the United States is a federal crime. Those who violate the law will be held accountable, and there are consequences to these actions,” Devack said in conclusion.
Building a massive wall between the U.S. and Mexico is Present Donald Trump’s most lauded campaign goal. His administration has completely roughly 83 miles of new wall, and aims to complete about 400 miles by November 2020. His son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, has been tapped to oversee this effort.
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