A video showing three people scaling a newly installed section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall with only a makeshift rope ladder is making the rounds on the internet.
The video was posted to Twitter by photojournalist J. Omar Ornelas with the caption: “This is the newly replaced wall along the US/MEXICO border. #TheWall”
— J. Omar Ornelas (@fotornelas) December 4, 2019
According to a local news report from KCAL-TV, the climbers were scaling a new portion of the border fence in Otay Mesa, California, using a rope ladder to climb up the Mexican side and then sliding down the fencing onto the American side.
The 18-foot fence in the video is a part of a recently approved $147 million, 14-mile border replacement project that was completed in August.
When President Donald Trump visited the site in September, he described it as “virtually impossible” to climb.
“We actually built prototypes and we have, I guess you could say, world-class mountain climbers,” President Trump said. “And we gave them different prototypes of walls, and this was the one that was hardest to climb … This wall can’t be climbed. This is very, very hard.
“But going over it is impossible — is virtually impossible,” he added.
Liberal outlet Mother Jones used the opportunity to celebrate the border hoppers’ achievement and mock Trump:
“Despite the valiant efforts of the president’s crack team of climbers and his careful monitoring of drug-carrying athletes, no one could have anticipated that in just a matter of months, migrants would hit upon an ingenious solution: ladders. What’s more, the idea that humans could slide down a pole had yet to be tested, even by the most skilled of Trump’s completely real, not-made-up elite climbing force.”
But, according to KCAL-TV, this is the first documented case of someone getting past the wall.
The video also appears to show a Border Patrol agent pulling up in the background as one climber slides down onto the American side while the other two remove the ladder and remain on the Mexican side.
If this is true, it does not appear that the border crossing was a successful operation.
After all, a wall is only one tool of many — Border Patrol agents being another — proponents of illegal immigration enforcement readily admit.
“One part of that system doesn’t work alone,” San Diego Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Kathleen Scudder said at the completion of the Otay Mesa wall in August. “A wall [or] a fence isn’t going to keep people out, necessarily. We don’t build the walls to be a complete deterrent. They are one tool as part of the system.”