For years, I worked the southwest border as a Border Patrol agent and as a special agent. A wall, barrier, bulwark, fortification, or whatever it is called will work. A physical barrier limits narcotics trafficking through the porous border areas and will likewise funnel migrants to areas that the Border Patrol can focus enforcement and humanitarian efforts.
Migrants choose the path of least resistance when crossing the border, taking them through unforgiving deadly terrain with over 250 perishing in 2018 alone. The narcotics smugglers also traffic immeasurable tons of narcotics across the border unfettered. Every year, Homeland Security pushes new technology to the border. Technology simply does not stop all human traffic or narcotics smugglers from crossing north into the United States.
From my many years on the border, I know border walls work. But with a wall, there also needs to be robust efforts to curb the flow of economic migrants. A “policy wall” needs to be built that deters employers from hiring undocumented workers.
When I worked for the DHS Human Smuggling cell, the message south of the border was to get to the United States; jobs are waiting. I’m sure this message is still pushed in Central America. This message is a large part of the problem.