To enhance border security, the Texas National Guard Engineer Response Teams have been deployed to Brownsville, Texas, to repair and fortify existing barriers while installing new anti-climbing measures. The concertina-wire barriers have suffered damage from illegal border-crossers, but there have also been reports of the Department of Homeland Security cutting the wire. However, a recent court ruling has ordered the DHS to refrain from tampering with the wire unless necessary for emergency medical purposes.
The state of Texas has taken additional measures to bolster security in the area surrounding Brownsville. Anti-climbing barriers will be positioned behind the reinforced concertina wire as an extra deterrent at water crossings. In addition, water buoys have been utilized to prevent unauthorized crossings. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas asserts that using these buoys is within the state’s legal rights to safeguard against unlawful entry.
The anti-climbing barriers themselves are relatively straightforward in design and application. Described as eight-foot fencing barriers interconnected and enveloped in razor wire, they are intended to impede ladders or other scaling devices for illegal border crossings. Captain Chris Daniel, the operation’s commanding officer, explained that the fencing was erected in response to “bad actors” who had been tampering with the concertina wire and facilitating unauthorized traffic. The aim is to create a formidable barrier enabling Task Force South, the Department of Public Safety, and drone teams to intercept and apprehend individuals attempting to breach the barriers.
Brownsville has been a focal point for barrier projects implemented by successive administrations. The Secure Fence Act of 2006, under President Bush, mandated the installation of multiple layers of reinforced fencing and the construction of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors at various border crossings, including Brownsville and Laredo, Texas. Similarly in 2017, President Trump’s plan called for 150 miles of new fencing, with 12 miles surrounding the Rio Grande Valley, which encompasses Brownsville.
The current efforts to repair and replace fencing in Brownsville are part of a $5 billion project to fortify border security. By reinforcing existing barriers and implementing new anti-climbing measures, Texas aims to create a more robust defense against unauthorized border crossings and ensure the safety of its residents.