Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Nancy Kaufman
Observer Staff Writer 

Why Illegal Aliens Quickly Surrender to the Men and Women of the US Border Patrol

This year, 14 miles of California's primary wall is being replaced by an 18 -foot wall of steel bollard.

 

Nancy Kaufman

The San Diego border stretches about 60 miles. There are two walls, a primary one and a secondary one. The primary wall covers 46 miles and was built in 1991 from repurposed landing mat from the Vietnam War era. It's about 8 feet high.

At the San Diego border last Friday, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Tekae Michael jumped out of the van with her partner, Agent Theron Francisco, to catch up with two male "give ups," who had crossed the border and were walking toward the agents.

Agent Michael said, "When we see illegal aliens walking East West, they are looking for someone they can turn themselves into, and they are referred to as "give-ups."

Most likely, according to Agent Michael, they were going to claim asylum or "credible fear," since they were "give-ups," who turned themselves in.

The two border crossers were Indian. They spoke only Punjabi. They had no documentation or identification papers.

There was little if no resistance. Agent Michael ordered one of the "give ups," to put his hands up against the 18- foot steel wire mesh wall, while Agent Francisco ordered the same of the other. With gentle and precise hands, the agents padded down the young men.

While waiting for BP transport vans to arrive, the two Punjabi men sat against the wall and cooperated. Within minutes, two transport vans arrived and the young "give-ups," were taken into the custody of Border Patrol.

Agent Michael explained how CBP processes the crossers she apprehends. After the two Punjabi men are transported to a BP center, they are interviewed and asked such questions as who set them up for travel, how did they get from India to Mexico, and if they were in a "Stash House," which is a holding place, waiting to cross.

Also, they are asked who brought them to the border, and if they have names of those that facilitated and smuggled them, and who they were supposed to meet on the North side. According to Agent Michael, they were most likely going to go to Los Angles.

At the transport center, the crossers might also be asked who the person is that would be picking them up, such as a low driver who picks up illegal immigrants who are being smuggled across the border.

. "It's a common occurrence," Agent Michael said, "for those crossing the border to go somewhere North."

Agent Michael's duty station is in El Cahon, between the Otay Mesa and Tekate ports of entry.

The Border Infrastructure system(BIS), Agent Michael explained, is the space between the primary and secondary walls, where she and Agent Francisco apprehended the two Punjabi border crossers.

The San Diego border stretches about 60 miles. There are two walls, a primary one and a secondary one. The primary wall covers 46 miles and was built in 1991 from repurposed landing mat from the Vietnam War era. It's about 8 feet high.

The primary wall was built because back in the 80's and 90's, according to Agent Michael, "We would get over 600,00 apprehensions a year in this area of San Diego. Nearly thirty years later, in 2018, it's been reduced to about 28,000 apprehensions so far. It was built as a deterrent to slow down vehicle smuggling of people and drugs.

This year, 14 miles of the primary wall is being replaced by an 18 -foot wall of steel bollard.

The secondary wall was built in 1997 as a pedestrian barrier. It's an 18- foot steel mesh. People still climb, and rope over it through blankets and rugs. It is this secondary wall that will eventually be replaced with the Trump wall prototype and it will be 30 feet tall.

There are eight prototype walls and six different contractors bidding. Four are made of concrete and the four others are made of different material.

Nancy Kaufman

The primary wall was built because back in the 80's and 90's, according to Agent Michael, "We would get over 600,00 apprehensions a year in this area of San Diego. Nearly thirty years later, in 2018, it's been reduced to about 28,000 apprehensions so far.

These Trump wall prototypes were constructed over a 30- day period from last September till October. They were checked for anti-breaching, drilling, and the integrity of its structure.

There was also a 60 -day evaluation period that was done from October till December. During this time, the prototypes were tested to see how easy they were to climb, how long it took, and if it was scalable. Also, it was tested for patrol safety, as nobody wants the walls to crumble.

According to Agent Michael, the prototypes were tested for everything that smugglers might use to get through. For example, seams to grip, wedge, grapple with ropes, and anything else the crossers could use to climb the wall. The report has not yet been completed.

The upgraded Trump secondary wall will also stretch 14 miles of the 60 mile border. "San Diego sector is a great example as to why the wall infrastructure works. Walls work," said Agent Michael.

 

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