U.S. Customs and Border Protection ( CBP ) in partnership with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began new panel installations at the Calexico Border Wall.
Approximately 11 miles of the border in Calexico will be upgraded.
CBP said the project includes the construction of 30-foot tall steel bollards and technology improvements.
The new panels of the border wall are the same style, President Trump advocated for and came to visit in early April.
“It’s a 30-foot-high bollard style fence, which allows our border patrol agents to see what is on the other side of that wall,” said Carlos Pitones , El Centro Sector Border Patrol Agent.
The upgrades are similar to previous upgrades made to the border wall near the Gran Plaza Outlets in Calexico .
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the improved sections of the wall have proven to be successful.
” Before the new wall went up, we were apprehending about 3,000 illegal aliens within a six-month time period. Post the construction of the new wall, with the same time period we had about 1,000 illegal alien apprehensions, which brings us to a 64% decrease of apprehensions and illegal activity,” said Pitones .
We spoke to some locals who work right in front of the renovated wall, they say they’ve seen a drastic change in the area.
One man said it was normal to see people climbing over the old border fence, but not so much anymore.
CBP says these upgrades couldn’t have come at a better time, saying the El Centro Sector has seen an increase in activity since the influx of Central American Migrants at the border.
“We have had an increase in apprehensions. This fiscal year to date we apprehended over 28,000 thousand individuals. When compared to the same time frame of last fiscal year we are at a 34% increase in apprehensions,” said Pitones .
CBP says most of the illegal crossings are happening along areas of the border that have not been upgraded with the new panels.
According to CBP , the project is expected to continue until 2020.