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Laredo Sector Border Patrol Chief discusses border wall status

Chief Hudak says the border wall will be a gamechanger because right now there is no barrier between our agents, the Rio Grande and threats on the other side of the border
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 8:07 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -The border wall continues to be a hot topic for debate around the country and here in Laredo, those for and against the project have been vocal on where they stand.

The newly appointed Border Patrol Chief spoke out about what impacts the wall can have in our community as well as the criticism behind it.

Seventy miles of border wall is currently under contract in the Laredo area; but for the agency, asking for the project to get off the ground, it’s been decades in the making.

The center point for the wall begins at the outlet mall.

From there north, it will reach the El Pico Water Treatment Plant and south all the way to San Ygnacio.

The Laredo Border Patrol Sector Chief, Matthew Hudak says the wall is necessary.

Chief Hudak says, “For our agents, this will literally be a game-changer because right now there is no barrier whatsoever, between our agents, the Rio Grande and threats on the other side of the border.”

Those threats include gunfire, rocks thrown, or a large group of people trying to come into the country illegally.

Chief Hudak says the wall has been a proposal for over 20 years.

Hudak says, “We’ve seen the caravans, we continue seeing the smuggling of narcotics into the country. The threats remain and some of them have become even more challenging. That physical barrier is a critical tool to allow us to have, a little more of the advantage and secure the border better.”

The agency says they are aware of the concerns people may have regarding the wall-- especially the environmental effects.

Hudak says they are working with engineers with CBP to make sure they do things as effectively, safely and with respect to the environment and the community as well.

He adds that the agency understands that there are some differences regarding the creation of a wall.

If construction is seen soon, it could have another impact here locally.

Hudak says, “So there is going to be a lot of construction. You can see from the board here the costs for each of these contracts that were awarded so those are going to be materials and supplies that are going to be purchased here locally. Obviously, there will be some equipment and some expertise that will come from other areas but that will be lodging for people coming into the do the work, or supplies that are being purchased that will be money that in some form will be coming back to the economy here in Laredo.”

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021

The Laredo Border Patrol Sector says the area is known for quoting its high level of illegal activity.

Since the start of the year, over 43,000 illegal entry encounters and over thousands of pounds of drugs have been seized.

The agency says the border wall project includes lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology.

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