(USA Features) Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told a congressional committee Wednesday that a 20-mile section of new border wall near El Paso, Texas, has reduced illegal immigration by as much as 80 percent.
Morgan noted that new border wall sections which are going up all along the U.S.-Mexico boundary are not solely responsible for reductions in illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
He told lawmakers that walls along with roads and lighting and, in some cases multiple layers of fencing, are contributing to fewer illegal crossings as well.
The added barriers act as force multipliers for the Border Patrol, which is now more able to quickly respond to breaches. They can either make arrests or force people to remain in Mexico, Morgan noted.
“We’ve seen apprehensions and illegal entries and gotaways all being reduced by over 80% in that 20-mile stretch,” he told the House Appropriations Committee.
Democrats pointed to reports noting that the wall has already been breached in some locations, but Morgan said the added barriers make it harder to get through and also act as funnels to where more Border Patrol agents are located.
“It’s not that it’s impenetrable. But it does deny and impede long enough for Border Patrol agents to actually get there to do the apprehension and interdiction. And it works,” he said.