LAREDO, Texas—Pulling up in an SUV outside the 10-foot-tall fence at Laredo College, Narcizo Ramos recalls the problems the school used to have with unwanted visitors.
“I actually came to this college as a student,” Ramos, a special operations supervisor for the U.S. Border Patrol, told The Daily Signal. “I can tell you, this little fence that seems like it’s small—before that, you would actually see illegal immigrants and drug mules running through the school campus.
“And you would see Border Patrol agents and you would see campus police chasing them,” Ramos added.
The local college, with an enrollment of 12,000 students, finally had enough, said Ramos, a Border Patrol veteran of 19 years.
“It became such a nuisance to the college that they said, ‘We’ll erect our own fence,’” Ramos, 41, recalled. “It is actually pretty tall. It served its purpose. It did push the traffic they were seeing around it.”
Border Patrol officials and other advocates for a security wall along the southern border contend that although it wouldn’t stop illegal immigrants, it would slow them down and force them to cross the border in areas where they can be captured more easily.
Laredo, a city of 250,000, is a densely populated urban area along the southwest border that has no sections of wall to block entry by illegal immigrants who cross the Rio Grande River.
“We have no wall at all,” Joel Martinez, the Border Patrol deputy chief for the Laredo sector, told The Daily Signal during an interview at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo station.