“It’s a bunch of bullshit,” Fernando Ontiveroz, a resident of Sunland Park, New Mexico, told BuzzFeed. Even though he supported the idea of a wall along the border, Ontiveroz admitted, “I don’t think it’s working.”
The section of wall in Sunland Park, a New Mexico border town near El Paso, Texas, was built on private property and spearheaded by the group We Build the Wall. The group built the half-mile-long, 20-foot-high wall even though they did not have proper permits to do so. They claimed the structure would help stem the flow of illegal immigration and stop criminal activities like drug smuggling and human trafficking.
But the $20 million effort appears to be an abject failure, according to local residents.
BuzzFeed reporters saw dozens of migrants come into the town after the wall was built and were approached by several adults with children looking for a border patrol agent so they could turn themselves in. Another night, border patrol agents detained 54 people “a stone’s throw away from the base of the crowdfunded wall.”
“Regardless of what they build, they’re still coming in,” Jorge Alaniz, an El Paso resident, told BuzzFeed. “This is just political crap.”
The mayor of Sunland Park worries that the wall will be ineffective and just funnel migrants to enter the country in other areas.
“It is always the case, where you have outsiders coming in thinking they have a solution,” Javier Perea, mayor of Sunland Park, told BuzzFeed. “Building the wall won’t change the source of the problem.”
“It’s clear to us that construction of a portion of the wall in private property is nothing but a political stunt by white supremacists and xenophobic groups,” Fernando Garcia, executive director of the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights, told KTSM at the end of May.
Asylum-seekers are still coming across the border, fleeing desperate situations.
“They traveled thousands of miles by foot, so they’ll do whatever it takes,” Alaniz told Buzzfeed, adding, “These people are desperate. They’re hungry and they’re trying to survive.”
Rather than do anything to help, We Build the Wall constructed one final, half-mile-long barrier.
By all appearances, it is a multimillion dollar failure.
Published with permission of The American Independent.
IMAGE: Screenshot of the wall on private land in Sunland, New Mexico.