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Mike Brest

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  November 02, 2019

Mexican smugglers have cut through new portions of President Trump's border wall along the southern border using a commercially available power saw.

Using a popular cordless reciprocating saw that can be purchased at hardware stores for as little as $100, smugglers are creatingopenings large enough for people and drugs to pass through. They replace the blades on the saw, and it can cut through the wall's bollards in minutes.

Once someone cuts through a bollard at the base, which is only attached at the top and bottom, it can easily be pushed aside creating a hole large enough for an adult to squeeze through. Some of the areas that have been broken are in areas where construction crews have not installed electronic sensors that would detect the vibrations of the saws more quickly.

Multiple agents and administration officialspointed out that smugglers have found other ways to breach the wall — in particular, building a makeshift ladder to go over the fence instead of through it.

Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, referenced the cartels' innovation as a reason for the saw usage.

“The cartels will continue to innovate, and they’re not just going to leave San Diego because the wall gets better,” Vitiello said. “That’s life on the border.”

He also pointed to the funding Congress allocated for the wall as an explanation for the continued crisis.

“The bollards are not the most evolved design; they are the most evolved that we could pay for,” Vitiello said. “We never said they would be an end-all, be-all.”