SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico — When President Biden took office in January, his administration ordered an immediate halt on the construction of a 30-foot high border fence, leaving a gaping hole at one of the most vulnerable stretches of the US-Mexican border.
The 20-foot gap in the frontier wall at Border Monument Three — one of the 276 original markers erected after the Mexican-American War in 1848 — was allowing thousands of smugglers and migrants to cross into the US with relative ease, Border Patrol agents told The Post last week.
“The contractors just stopped,” said Richard Barragan, a Border Patrol agent in the El Paso Sector, pointing to the broken wall and a brace leftover by federal contractors still hanging from the iron fence when they hastily abandoned construction in January.
Along the nearly 2,000-mile southern border, thousands of tons of steel and other building materials have gathered rust since the order to halt construction, Border Patrol agents said.
Desperate to stem the migrant flow at the remote, mountainous site at the confluence of the Texas, Mexico and New Mexico border, Border Patrol agents took it upon themselves to plug the hole — with old truck tires and pieces of stray construction materials that were left behind by the federal contractors.
“We have some agents who are good welders, and they put it all together,” agent Barragan said.
In June, the Biden administration announced plans to pull $2.2 billion of funding allocated by President Trump for the construction of the border wall and spend it on other projects.