Border Patrol agents insist that completed new sections of border barriers are helping them to secure the border and making the agents safer in the process. This comes on the heels of media reports inaccurately asserting that no new barriers have been constructed during the Trump Administration.
Border Patrol Agent Mike Matzke told Breitbart News, “New sections of Trump’s wall have been built and anyone claiming that a 30-foot barrier that replaced a 10-foot high sheet metal fence isn’t new barrier doesn’t know what they are talking about. The old legacy landing mat fence in our sector wasn’t effective and really bad people were jumping all day and night.”
Agent Matzke spoke with Breitbart News in his role as president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Local 2554 in El Centro, California.
“We’ve had people throw Molotov cocktails over the old landing mat fence and it was dangerous because we couldn’t see through it like we can with Trump’s new border barrier. Here in El Centro, we have the highest stretch of border wall on the entire Southwest border. Trump’s new wall section is 30-feet high,” Agent Matzke said.
Other Border Patrol agents discussing the matter said that the new Trump wall segment was 2.25 miles long and described it as being in the most needed area. Agent Matzke confirmed this and said the stretch is just to the west of the downtown area of Calexico, California. “It starts at the New River and goes west. Assaults on agents were very common in the area prior to Trump’s new wall. Assaults on Border Patrol agents in the area have dropped 65 percent since Trump built it. Illegal entries in the area are down 75 percent since Trump built it.”
The New River crosses from Mexico into California in the area, so Border Patrol agents have expressed that crossing will never be at zero percent due to environmental restrictions. The river is highly polluted and agents are prone to avoid entering the water.
“Agents will still go in to apprehend aliens, but this is only after they cross. We have two fences in the river that influence the routes of aliens, but it doesn’t stop them from crossing,” said Agent Matzke.
Border Patrol agents are unable to speak directly with news media so the National Border Patrol Council serves as their public voice so that the agents’ concerns and perspectives can be made known. Agent Matzke said a number of Border Patrol agents were dismayed by media reports claiming that no new segments of border barrier had been completed.
“A couple-mile stretch of Trump’s wall might not seem like a lot to some people, but it sure makes all the difference in the world to us. We are safer and our objectives are much easier to meet,” said Agent Matzke. He said Trump is building another approximate 11 miles of wall, but groups are slowing the construction with court injunctions.
(Disclosure: Breitbart News has worked closely with the National Border Patrol Council to help bring a voice to Border Patrol agents, funded the funeral of a slain agent through the Council, and helped to start a podcast for the agents. The author, Brandon Darby, has received an award from the Council for his work on behalf of Border Patrol Patrol agents and has worked with the Council on a number of projects.)
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.