An extended news story on CBS Sunday Morning outlined the billions of dollars of fentanyl and heroin streaming across the nation’s southern border. So great is the profit to Mexican and other Central American drug lords, they now have tens of billions of dollars which they can use to influence elections and create their own mini-armies.
That influence, both in America and Mexico, may begin to come to an end with the first phase of President Trump’s new border wall which began construction over the weekend.
The drug traffic from Mexico is seen as the main reason for increasing violence in Chicago and other major American cities.
Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that a section of chain link and metal fence stretching four miles long will soon be replaced with an 18-foot-tall steel bollard wall. It will be one of the many types of walls or fences that will be installed or upgraded depending on the topography.
“We need effective barriers to deny the entry of illegal aliens and contraband,” said Aaron A. Hull, the chief patrol agent for the U.S. Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, according to a local ABC affiliate.
Hull said “a balance of physical infrastructure, technology and personnel is key to securing the border and keeping our communities safe.”
“El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal aliens and drug smuggling,” the agency said in a news release. “In fiscal year 2017, El Paso Sector apprehended 25,193 illegal aliens, seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine. Additionally during that fiscal year, there were 54 assaults against El Paso Sector agents.”
The agency said it contracted West Point Contractors of Tucson, Ariz., on June 1 to build the barrier.
According to the news release, the construction project is expected to be completed in late April 2019. The estimated cost for the project is $22 million.
The announcement comes a day after President Trump lashed out at Congress over the lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill.
Border security is one of the biggest concerns of Americans in recent polling. As the economy hits record numbers in all categories, voters are turning their attention to other issues, like the border, and putting pressure on both parties to stem the flow of drugs and violence.
“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump tweeted at the time. “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”