Illegal immigrants rescued at border wall in California after ‘precarious situation’
Three people were rescued over the weekend after they were found trapped in “a precarious situation” on a new section of border wall near San Diego, according to officials.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release said that around midnight Sunday, agents on patrol saw three people perched on top of the wall near Otay Mesa. The three, a man and two women, attempted to enter the U.S. illegally in dense fog by climbing the San Diego Sector’s new 30-foot, steel bollard wall before getting stuck, according to officials.
“These three were very fortunate to not have fallen from the top of the wall, which could have resulted in serious injury or death,” CBP San Diego Sector’s Acting Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a statement. “These dangers are not important considerations to smugglers, who place an emphasis on profits over safety.”
The trio ended up on the wet, slippery wall after smugglers abandoned them, which officials said left them in “a precarious situation.”
Agents called in firefighters with San Diego Fire Department to get the group down safely using a ladder truck
Once on the ground, agents questioned the group and found all three were Mexican citizens illegally trying to cross into the United States, Border Patrol said.
A 36-year-old male, a 20-year-old female, and an 18-year-old female were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing. Officials did not say how they got on top of the wall.
The new stretch of border wall includes 14 miles of 18-foot, primary steel bollard fencing built in San Diego County as part of President Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border. It has a secondary 30-foot steel bollard barrier behind.
The new construction replaced 8-foot landing mats, usually supported by a steel mesh behind them.
The project to install 14 miles of replacement barriers began in May 2018 and is now complete. The secondary project began in February 2019 and it includes 2 miles of wall that did not exist before, officials say.
Trump visited the San Diego project in September and described it in glowing terms — even signing his name on the barrier.
“So it’s a very powerful, very powerful wall, the likes of which, probably, to this extent, has not been built before,” he said.
“But the numbers now are way down,” he later added. “And as the wall goes up — literally, as the wall goes up, the numbers go down.”
How effectively the new barrier deters migrants and stops crossings is tough to calculate. The construction of the wall, however, did coincide with a sharp decline in apprehensions. In August 2019, there were 3,326 apprehensions in the San Diego sector, down from 6,880 in March and 5,884 in May.