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San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman will speak on KPBS Midday at noon about protests in San Diego. Listen via live stream.

Border Patrol Celebrates Completion of Smuggler’s Gulch Fence

Above: A hotly contested border fence project was completed Monday in Smuggler's Gulch. The canyon was a popular crossing spot in the early 1990s, but isn't anymore.

Audio

Aired 7/6/09

Border Patrol officials are celebrating the completion of a controversial border fencing project in a canyon called Smuggler's Gulch. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us, Border Patrol agents say the new infrastructure makes their jobs easier.

The project involved moving 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt to form a berm across a scrub-covered canyon just inland from the Pacific Ocean.
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Above: The project involved moving 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt to form a berm across a scrub-covered canyon just inland from the Pacific Ocean.

Former Congressman Duncan Hunter at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the border fence project he's pushed for nearly two decades.
Enlarge this image

Above: Former Congressman Duncan Hunter at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the border fence project he's pushed for nearly two decades.

Border Patrol officials are celebrating the completion of a controversial border fencing project in a canyon called Smuggler's Gulch. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us, Border Patrol agents say the new infrastructure makes their jobs easier.

Smuggler's Gulch sits at the westernmost edge of the San Diego Tijuana border.

It was a main thoroughfare for illegal crossings. But traffic has dwindled during the last decade. The majority of migrants try their luck further east.

Nevertheless, in 2005, Congress allowed the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any laws that stood in the way of filling in Smuggler's Gulch to build a taller, stronger border fence, and to pave over parts of the canyon for roads.

Josh Gough, who's a Border Patrol supervisor, says it used to take five agents to patrol Smuggler's Gulch. He says now, "If you could cut an agent in half, you can patrol this area with one-point-five."

Environmentalists say even though the new fence may make Border Patrol agents' work less taxing, the project is environmentally costly. They say sediment from the project could further damage the estuary below.

Comments

Avatar for user 'owl'

owl | July 6, 2009 at 4:26 p.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

Disgusting.

( | suggest removal )