A group advocates of President Donald Trump’s vision for increased security along the U.S. southern border joined hands in New Mexico along the U.S.-Mexico border. They were physically showing their support for the construction of a border wall.
The demonstrators waved flags and held signs such as “STOP the drugs destroying our youth” at a location along the partially fenced border in Sunland Park, New Mexico, just across the line from Ciudad Juarez in Mexico’s Chihuahua State, Fox News reported.
Footage shared by True Conservatives Minutes (TCM) featured an organizer addressing the crowd through a megaphone, asking “Do you feel it’s right that these gentlemen have to kiss their families every night potentially it being their last night for them because of this?” referring to border patrol agents working along a section of the border without a barrier. The crowd replied “No!”
One of the demonstrators cited by Reuters said the reason we are here is to call attention to the problems caused by a lack of border security.
“We are here to bring attention to that fact that there isn’t a wall here,” said Anthony Aguero, a resident from El Paso, Texas, adding, ” We have to secure our nation and at the same time we are securing the nation, all of these people will be able to live in peace because all the drug and human trafficking that passes through here won’t happen here. They will have to find somewhere else.”
‘Build the Wall’
The demonstrators also chanted “USA! USA!” and “Build the wall! Build the wall!”
They then assembled their “human wall” in an apparent reference to a Feb. 5 message shared by Trump in a tweet saying his administration was prepared to “build a Human Wall if necessary” to protect the nation from illegal immigration.
“We’re all going to meet hand in hand, we’re all going to stand for about 45 minutes next to each other in honor of our 45th president and leading the efforts of securing the wall,” an organizer featured in the TCM report said, as footage showed people forming a human wall.
Trump cited “Tremendous numbers” of people entering the United States through Mexico as the reason for his “human wall” pledge, noting that additional troops have been deployed to deal with the situation.
Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2019
The “human wall” demonstration comes just days ahead of Trump’s expected first campaign rally of the year Monday at the El Paso County Coliseum, a Texas arena in close proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pentagon Pledges 3,750 More Troops
The Pentagon said last Sunday it would be sending 3,750 additional troops to the southwest border with Mexico for three months to support border agents.
The deployment will raise the total number of active-duty forces supporting Customs and Border Protection agents there to about 4,350, said the Department of Defense.
The Pentagon said the military will operate mobile surveillance cameras in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas, a mission scheduled to run through Sept. 30. Some of the additional troops will also string up 150 more miles of concertina wire.
Congress has been at loggerheads over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a border wall. The physical barrier is part of a larger border security package requested by experts at the Department of Homeland Security.
The impasse over border wall funding led to a partial government shutdown that went on for 35 days.
Trump reached a deal with Democrats on Jan. 25 to reopen the government for three weeks so that lawmakers could negotiate a deal that includes funds for the wall—the president’s landmark campaign promise.
With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security. Dems do nothing. If there is no Wall, there is no Security. Human Trafficking, Drugs and Criminals of all dimensions – KEEP OUT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2019
Congress is reportedly nearing a deal that would include far less money for the wall—about $1.6 billion.
It is unclear what the position of the administration might be with respect to the significantly lower figure.
Trump has said he may declare a national emergency to avoid another shutdown when the resolution ends on Feb. 15.
Asked if he will definitely declare a national emergency, the president said on Feb. 1, “I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that.”
“We will be looking at a national emergency because I don’t think anything’s going to happen,” Trump said. “I don’t think Democrats want border security. And when I hear them talk about the fact that walls are immoral and walls don’t work—they know they work.”
The Barrier ‘Is the Backbone’
A border fence with technology and access roads is the recipe for making an effective border wall system, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials say.
“Every situation will be different. No one area along the border is the same, so the system will look different in different locations,” a CBP official said at a press briefing on Jan. 16.
“But it will, at a minimum, include sensor technology—so it will be a smart wall—barriers and roads, and infrastructure. If you think of it in terms of a system, the barrier itself is the backbone.”
The official suggested that a wall isn’t a magic bullet to stop all illegal border crossings—but the critical factor is that it slows illegal incursions and buys agents time to respond.
Reuters and Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.