Citing US agents and officials with knowledge of the damage, it was reported that smugglers have been using reciprocating saws to cut through the steel and concrete portions of the wall, creating openings wide enough for people and drugs to be smuggled through.
The agents said the saws can cut through the bollards in a matter of minutes.
“We have a very powerful wall, but no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness,” the President told reporters at the White House.
“But we have a lot of people watching,” he continued. “Cutting is one thing, but it’s easily fixed. One of the reasons we did it the way we did it, it’s very easily fixed. You put the chunk back in. But we have a very powerful wall. But you can cut through any wall.”
Matthew Leas, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said: “Any characteristic that the wall is not working is ridiculous. The wall is working.”
When a breach is detected, a welding crew is sent to fix the opening, the newspaper reported.
But agents told the newspaper that despite fixing and welding the damaged bollards, smugglers still return to the same spot because the metal and the concrete at the bollards’ cores have already been weakened.
Smugglers also deploy makeshift ladders to climb up and over the barriers in the San Diego area, and then usehooks to hang rope ladders on the other side.
A senior administration official told the Post that the number of breaches amount to “a few instances,” but that the new fencing had “significantly increased security and deterrence” along the San Diego and El Centro sections of the border.
So far, US taxpayers have been footing the bill for efforts to build new physical barriers at the southern border.