National Archives This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Homeland Security Secretary: Border Walls Work. Yuma Sector Proves It.
USA Today
August 22, 2017

President Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along our Southern border will save countless innocent lives. Our Border Patrol agents have seen firsthand the success of a border wall in Yuma, Ariz. — which serves as a prime example of how investments in personnel, technology and a border wall can turn the tide against a flood of illegal immigration and secure our homeland.

For years, Yuma sector was besieged by chaos as a nearly unending flood of migrants and drugs poured across our border.

The bipartisan Secure Fence Act of 2006 — supported by then-Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and others — mandated the construction of hundreds of additional miles of secure fencing and infrastructure investments. Yuma sector was one of the first areas to receive infrastructure investments.

Although there is still work to do, the border in Yuma sector today is more secure because of this investment. Even under lax enforcement standards, apprehensions in fiscal year 2016 were roughly a 10th of what they were in FY 2005 — and are on track to be even lower this year. Crime has significantly decreased in the Yuma area, and smugglers now look for other less difficult areas of the border to cross — often areas without fencing.

For too long, the United States failed to enforce existing immigration laws. The Department of Homeland Security and other entities were directed to “pick and choose” which laws we enforced — and Border Patrol agents were encouraged to effectively look the other way when they did not have sufficient resources to secure the border.

Aware of these lax enforcement policies, tens of thousands of aliens attempted to the cross the border illegally every month.

The culture of pardons, permisos and lax enforcement also encouraged dangerous behavior by individuals looking to come to the United States.

Under Trump, the days of permisos are over.

To our friends in Central America and Mexico — and throughout the world — do not subject yourselves or your families to the horrors of human smuggling.

Do not believe the smuggler’s lies. We are enforcing the law. If you come here illegally, you will be sent back home.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should come together like they did 10 years ago and give the men and women of DHS the resources we need to defend our homeland. This starts with fully funding the construction of a wall along our Southern border.

Read the full editorial here.