SANTA TERESA, New Mexico -- California says it's joining three other states in sendingto the Mexican border. Up to 4,000 troops will assist in the crackdown on illegal crossings and drug smuggling. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited the region Wednesday and delivered a pep talk to law enforcement.
Sessions also told Border Patrol agents and local sheriffs from the Southwest that he was going to deliver on his promise of a more secure border.
"With President Trump, we have a new era of support for law enforcement like we haven't seen in many years," Sessions said. "You might even say we have a new sheriff in town."
But a newly surfaced video shows a different side of the story. Agents in California appeared to be trying to dump an injured and mentally ill man back into Mexico, a violation of border policy. The agents were disciplined, but not fired. The man had been arrested 16 times for entering the country illegally.
"The lack of a wall on the Southern border is an open invitation to illegal border crossings," Sessions said.
A new barrier, which will span 18 to 30 feet, is going up outside El Paso, Texas, over one of the country's busiest smuggling routes. Last year, agents with the El Paso sector caught more than 25,000 people crossing illegally and seized more than 34,000 pounds of marijuana.
"We know that it's going to serve as a significant deterrent for people trying to get through and it's going to increase the safety of our people in the area and the safety of the community on both sides," said Aaron Hull, the sector's patrol chief.
A deterrent? Yes. Foolproof? No. Pictures show people climbing on top of each other to scale the 5-foot plate that's supposed to prevent that.
The barrier currently separates the U.S. from Mexico. The posts are designed to stop cars, but not people. Even though Mr. Trump authorized spending for the new section, it's not part of thehe still needs Congress to approve.