The Arizona Republic says those trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico are being met in some places with the tallest obstacle the U.S. government has ever erected along the border: an 18-foot, mesh-metal fence, with poles sunk deeply into concrete. The United States is spending $700 million to build 670 miles of new fencing along the border, but lured by U.S. jobs with higher wages, immigrants are adapting.
The tallest portions of the fencing are 15 to 18 feet high, aimed at stopping both pedestrians and vehicles. The shortest barriers are 3 to 4 feet high and designed to stop vehicles in remote areas. The large fences stretch in broken but growing segments across the 1,950-mile border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it has put up 114 miles of truck barricades and 118 miles of new 15- and 18-foot fences. The Border Patrol and immigrant-aid centers report that people are devising ways to scale the fences, be it by two-by-four ladders, tree limbs or rope. “The border fence is a speed bump in the desert,” said Border Patrol spokesman Mike Scioli said. “It slows them down long enough for us to respond.”