Border wall ‘critical’ for reducing crime, former agents testify

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Border enforcement veterans told lawmakers Tuesday that fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border has been “absolutely critical” in reducing violence, drug-smuggling and illegal entry — in testimony boosting President Trump’s call for a Texas-to-California wall.

Ronald Colburn, former Border Patrol deputy chief, and David Aguilar, former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, testified to the Senate Homeland Security Committee about their experiences in the Bush administration when the first fencing was implemented.

Colburn also served as chief of the Yuma Border Patrol Sector, a stretch spanning southwestern Arizona and southeastern California, and was part of Operation Jump Start, which began in 2006 with the construction of a border fence.

Before the fence, the sector recorded 2,706 drive-throughs where illegal immigrants crossed the “unfettered” border with “contraband of drugs and people,” Colburn said. Of those, Yuma Border Patrol captured just 13.

“The rest all got away, with no…



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