Smugglers in Juárez, Mexico have been using ladders made from rebar to scale President Donald Trump’s border wall and enter the U.S. according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Because their color scheme matches the wall, the ladders are difficult to detect. However, border patrol agents have found a number of them in the El Paso, Texas sector of the border.
“We’re starting to see a lot of evading activity,” sector spokesman Agent Ramiro Cordero told the El Paso Times. “We’re starting to see the criminal organizations working hand-to-hand on either side to avoid detections. More and more we are seeing ‘failure to yields’—they are utilizing ladders to go over the fence.”
Newsweek reached out to CBP for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
By bending the tops of the rebar poles into a U-shape, users are able to hook the ladders over the wall in order to cross into the U.S. illegally. Materials to construct the ladders are estimated to cost less than $6, which converts to approximately 99 pesos in Mexican currency.
Climbing over the southern border wall into the U.S. by using a ladder has become a more frequent occurrence.
As previously reported by Newsweek, over 110 immigrants entered Arizona by scaling the wall with the help of a ladder. Agents detained the immigrants after they hit U.S. soil, but the smuggler who aided them returned to Mexico.
American CBP agents do not have the authority to arrest smugglers in Mexico.
President Trump has spoken extensively about the construction of the wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which he claims will cut down on illegal immigration.
During an El Paso rally in January 2019, Trump announced the beginning of the construction of the Texas section of the border wall.
“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime, one of the highest in the country and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” Trump said. “Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.”
President Trump has also commented on the strength and imperviousness of the wall.
“It’s a very powerful, very powerful wall,” Trump said in September 2019 during remarks at the site of the Otay Mesa Border Wall in California, “the likes of which, probably, to this extent, has not been built before.”
However, a portion of the wall in Calexico, California was blown over by high winds in January. Concrete meant as a permanent foundation for the panels had not completely cured, allowing some of the wall panels to wind up against roadside trees in the Mexican border town of Mexicali.
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