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Border Wall In Calexico Gets Reinforced With New Sheets Of Metal Mesh

Worker is pictured welding sheets of metal onto the border wall in Calexico o...

Photo by Alexandra Rangel

Above: Worker is pictured welding sheets of metal onto the border wall in Calexico on May 5, 2021.

While new border wall construction has been halted by the Biden administration, the border fence in Calexico is seeing new updates to the existing barrier with some added sheets of metal mesh.

El Centro Sector Border Patrol says the added security measures are part of its tactical infrastructure funds.

Listen to this story by Alexandra Rangel.

Sheets of metal that are 8 feet tall have been welded onto a portion of the border wall near downtown Calexico.

According to local border patrol officials, the added metal sheets are to protect agents from rocks and other objects that are sometimes thrown through the barrier.

However, the founder of the group, Calexico Needs Change Ismael Arvizu, believes the metal mesh was placed for other reasons.

“That mesh blocks people from connecting and helping people out. To be able to pass hands, or even be close,” Arvizu said.

Arvizu says people who have loved ones in Mexicali who can’t cross to the U.S., often meet up with their loved ones by the fence.

In recent weeks this area has seen an increase of people getting injured while trying to illegally cross to Calexico.

Raul Canizales, a firefighter with the Calexico Fire Department says he’s responded to a lot of these calls.

“We have seen a rise of the amount of calls we are getting of people jumping the border fence,” Canizales said.

Just last week there was one incident where a man needed aid after falling from the 30-foot fence.

In a separate incident, one man got his leg stuck between the fence slats.

“The injuries, a lot of times you’ll have people who go over the fence, they’ll slide down and fall and a lot of the times they have traumatic injuries. It seems like the last two weeks, we’ve seen them quite often, almost back to back,” Canizales said.

Although it’s unclear how many people are crossing illegally through Calexico’s downtown area, the El Centro Sector has seen a dramatic increase in apprehensions.

The sector apprehended more than 12,000 people in the 2020 fiscal year.

With five months still remaining in the border patrol’s fiscal year, that number has already risen dramatically to more than 30,000 apprehensions.

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Photo of Alexandra Rangel

Alexandra Rangel
Freelance Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a freelance reporter covering the latest news and issues surrounding the San Diego community. I’m always looking to shed light on issues that would otherwise go unreported.

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