WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has begun installing the first panels for new border wall system in U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in Hidalgo County, Texas.
The busiest sector in the nation, RGV is USBP’s highest priority location for new border wall system construction. The RGV Sector accounts for approximately 40 percent of the illegal alien apprehensions and ranks first in seized cocaine and marijuana along the southwest border. The majority of illegal activity is occurring in areas of RGV with limited infrastructure and technology. The new border wall system will improve the RGV Sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations.
“Having previously worked in Tucson Sector, I’ve seen how walls are extremely effective in changing the operational environment in which we work,” said Rodolfo Karisch, Chief Patrol Agent of the Rio Grande Valley Sector. “Locations where physical barriers have been constructed saw reduced illegal immigration flows, organized smuggling and environmental degradation. I look forward to putting this capability to work in new locations in RGV Sector.”
This project consists of approximately eight miles of new levee wall system in locations where no barriers currently exist. The contract for this project was awarded in November 2018. This project is similar to the 76 miles of new border wall system recently constructed in the San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, and El Paso Sectors. In addition to a physical barrier, the new levee wall system also includes an enforcement zone, which will include technology to provide situational awareness, as well as an all-weather road for lateral access.
Since January 2017, approximately $9.8 billion has been identified to construct approximately 509 miles of new border wall system through a combination of Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense funding and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund. This includes approximately 110 miles of new levee and border wall system within USBP’s RGV Sector in areas where no barriers currently exist.
CBP continues to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 – also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements – taking steps to expeditiously plan, design, and construct a physical wall using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the southern border.