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Federal government completes 131 miles of border wall in El Paso sector of Texas & New Mexico

border wall
KVIA
A section of the border barrier in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

EL PASO, Texas -- The federal government has completed a total of 131 miles of border wall in the El Paso sector, the acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced in a media call on Tuesday.

"The border wall system proves its worth every day with every mile," said Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan. "We need to know who is coming into our country. The border wall helps us achieve that."

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The El Paso sector is made up of about 125,500 square miles, according to CBP. In addition to west Texas, the sector also includes the Santa Teresa, Lordsburg and Deming areas in New Mexico.

In 2019, El Paso was the epicenter of the migrant crisis, as ABC-7 reported extensively that year. On a weekly basis, thousands of migrants crossed into the region. Many of them declared asylum, telling agents they were fleeing violence from their home countries.

Morgan said the agency added almost 450 miles of border wall across the U.S.- Mexico border nationwide, with funding in place to build a total of almost 800 miles of system.

"The vast majority of this is not new wall, but replacement wall," said Angela Kocherga, the news director of KTEP public radio and a border journalist of 30 years.

"It's not to say that those (upgrades) weren't needed, but that's very different than saying 'We put up a brand new wall,'" she said.

But Morgan maintained in a tweet Tuesday that "it's all new wall."

The commissioner did not comment specifically on the El Paso sector during his roughly 50-minute call, but described the immigration system overall as greatly flawed.

"There's no magic words," Morgan said. "We refer to it as 'broke.'"

Morgan also indicated that nearly 5,000 CBP employees have contracted Covid-19 across the country. He said 21 staffers have died of the virus, largely comprised of agents on the front lines.

"It has had an impact on our workforce, so that is very real," Morgan said.

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

Comments

18 Comments

  1. Only way to stop unknown people from coming in illegally is to reform immigration and make legal immigration feasible. Until then Juanito will continue to come over, under, and around the Republican wall. Those are your choices.

    1. No you won’t. You and your ilk are not now, and never will be defenders of our country. If you were a defender of our country, you would be pushing for immigration reform and not a wall. You are anti-American, so how can you call yourself a ‘defender’ of the country?

    2. There will be no more wall building. In fact, most of the wall will be coming down after we pass immigration reform which will do away with the imagined need for a wall.

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