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A Border Patrol officer sits inside his car as he guards the border fence in Nogales, Ariz., on Feb. 9, 2019.Ariana Drehsler / AFP via Getty Images file

'Impenetrable' border wall damaged by monsoon rains in Arizona

The border wall is "virtually impenetrable," except when confronted with readily available power tools, wind, and rain.


It was a couple of years ago when Donald Trump described newly built barriers along the U.S./Mexico border -- what the former president likes to call a "wall" -- as "virtually impenetrable." The structures have repeatedly struggled to live up to the boasts.

One of the first signs of trouble came when smugglers repeatedly sawed through the barriers with commercially available, off-the-shelf power tools that cost as little as $100. A few months later, winds pushed over newly installed wall panels in California. (CNN reported at the time that there were wind gusts in the area "as high as 37 mph." Those aren't exactly hurricane-like conditions.)

Yesterday, the NBC affiliate in Tucson reported on the wall's latest trouble.

Several metal flood gates in the newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in easternmost Arizona were ripped off their hinges last week by flooding from heavy monsoon rains. A spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson sector confirmed the gates were open last week when waters from the historic rainfall rushed through the Douglas area near the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge in Cochise County.

The gates apparently had to be opened anyway to prevent debris from building up, and then rain did additional damage to the structure.

Or put another way, when Trump described the wall as "virtually impenetrable," he neglected to mention the power of readily available power tools, wind, and rain.

The Washington Examiner reported a few months ago that House Republicans intends to "revive the now-stalled construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border" as a top 2022 campaign issue.

Good luck with that.