Iowa Congressman Steve King took a helicopter tour last night of the massive fence under construction along the U.S. border with Mexico. The Republican from Kiron made the flight with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. King says they buzzed the border in southwest Arizona where the new triple-fence is being built.
King says "It has a solid steel fence wall that’s maybe 12-feet high and then come inside about…100 feet and put up a 16-foot-high mesh fence, and then inside that another span of distance of maybe 30 feet is a ten-foot high chain link fence." King says "I asked the point-blank question, ‘Has anyone defeated this barrier?’ and their answer was ‘No,’ although we think they’ll keep trying until they find a way or they go around the end."
While King and Chertoff were taking the aerial tour beyond the stretch of new fence, they ran across a large group of about 20 illegals trying to reach the United States. King says "When they saw our helicopter, they huddled underneath a tree. The tree was very small and they were a larger group so it was easy to see them. Rather than go down and actually interdict the group of illegals, we just went down with the helicopter and a lot of sand flies around and essentially herded them back across the border and made the call for some backup."
King says the new triple fence runs for many miles in Arizona, but diminishes to lesser fences, the farther it gets from civilization. King says "There really isn’t anything there except steel posts with three to five barbed wires on that, a lot of that’s hanging and sagging where the illegals poured through there." King says that region of Arizona was seeing 138-thousand illegal immigrants enter each year before the triple-fence.
Now, it’s trickled to about 15-thousand. The two-billion-dollar triple-fence project is reportedly costing the U.S. taxpayers one-point-three-million dollars per mile and will stretch for some 850 miles of the two-thousand mile long border with Mexico. Some three-dozen Iowa National Guard troops were deployed to the border in California back in October for a mission that’s expected to last six months to two years.