On September 18, 2019, the 45th president said:
Now, the wall still, obviously, has a ways to go, but we're building it at a breakneck speed. I wanted them to show you the interior of parts of the wall and what's inside of each individual slat. And you'll see it's a combination of steel, concrete, and—as one of the folks just said—it really is virtually impenetrable. Any walls that were put up would get knocked down very quickly, very easily. This wall is not something that can be really knocked down. I guess anything can, but this is very tough.
Mexican smuggling gangs have sawed through new segments of border wall 3,272 times over the past three years, according to unpublished U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintenance records obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
The government spent $2.6 million to repair the breaches during the 2019 to 2021 fiscal years, the CBP records show. While the agency has acknowledged that smugglers are able to hack through the new barriers built by the Trump administration, the maintenance records show damage has been more widespread than previously known, pointing to the structure’s limitations as an impediment to illegal crossings.
Smuggling gangs typically cut the barrier with inexpensive power tools widely available at retail hardware stores, including angle grinders and demolition saws. Once the 18-to-30-foot-tall bollards are severed near the ground, their only remaining point of attachment is at the top of the structure, leaving the steel beam dangling in the air. It easily swings open with a push, creating a gap wide enough for people and narcotics to pass through.