Things That Matter

Migrants Are Using $100 Saws To Dismantle Trump’s $10 Billion Wall

Recently, at a Mississippi campaign rally, Trump claimed that there isn’t a tool that exists that can cut through the combination of construction materials used for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. However, this weekend, The Washington Post reported that smugglers are sawing through new sections of Trump’s wall with $100 power tools and simply walking across the border.

Within a matter of minutes, smugglers have been able to saw through the steel and concrete bollards by simply fitting a popular cordless saw with special blades, according to The Washington Post.

Hours before The Washington Post broke its news, Trump told a Mississippi crowd, “It’s a different form of cut.”

Credit: @atrupar / Twitter

It seems as if the Army Corp of Engineers presented Trump with three construction material options. “I did all three,” he boasted to a crowd that exploded with applause. “Because it’s a different form of cut,” he explained, seemingly about the power tool required to cut through all three materials. “It can cut through steel but it can’t through the concrete and then you can’t through the hardened rebar. We got it all.” It’s difficult to say what “it” is referring to because of the lack of descriptive nouns in his language.

Later, Trump doubled down on the reason for “The Wall:” that MS-13 gang members were “not human beings.”

Credit: @JoaquinCastrotx / Twitter

“These gangs are the worst people,” he told the crowd. “These people, they are not human beings. I said that once before and ‘Crazy Nancy Pelosi’ said, ‘How dare you say they’re not human?'” Trump doubled down and bragged for refusing to apologize. “You ever see these people?” he asked the cheering crowd. “And they slice people up with a knife because it’s more painful than using a gun. And then I have to defend myself when I say they’re animals. But you know what? I never changed. I didn’t say, ‘Oh I’d like to apologize, Crazy Nancy.'”

Meanwhile, Joaquin Castro visited the Hispanic Caucus’ ofrenda dedicated to honoring the migrants who have tragically died in U.S. custody.

“We also need see-through,” Trump stated.

@MGuarinoedu / Twitter

Presumably, Trump means to say that he’d like a transparent material that also fortifies the border. “Gotta see whose on the other side. That makes sense, right? Not just concrete,” he expanded. Currently, the most protected border sections have two, 30 feet high fences with a paved road in between. But nearly a dozen U.S. Border agents and administration officials have blown the whistle on Trump’s “virtually impenetrable” wall to The Washington Post, on the condition of anonymity.

There are two methods migrants are using to cross the $10 billion tax-payer funded barriers, says The Washington Post.

Credit: @dvillella / Twitter

Of the two methods reported by The Washington Post, the simpler method relies on the use of the popular household cordless saw. The saw is able to cut through the first layer of steel rebar, ten feet of concrete and a rebar core within a few minutes, engineers told The Washington Post. The bollard is attached to a panel at the top of the “wall,” which, when sawed through, is left dangling, ready to be pushed to the side by a migrant who can now simply walk across the border, according to the Post.

The second method is with a custom made ladder, usually made of rebar, which includes a rope ladder that is released down the other side to descend, says The Washington Post. Once on the other side, the ladder can be easily passed through the space between the bollards, and carried to the second barrier, according to The Washington Post.

Migrant smugglers are tricking CBP officers with putty the paper reported.

@DahVeedP / Twitter

An anonymous senior administration official told The Washington Post that while the new bollard system has “significantly increased security and deterrence,” sawing breaches have occurred often enough that CBP officers know how to look out for them. Smugglers, a CBP official admitted to the publication, have an array of strategies to trick CBP officers into bypassing an altered bollard. They might put the bollard back where it was, hoping an agent won’t do a routine boot-kick to test for a breach, an official admitted to the paper. Alternatively, smugglers have also learned to use putty to mask the cut in such a way that it looks like a welding crew had already repaired the bollard, The Washington Post reported.

But those vulnerable spots will soon be fortified with electronic sensors.

Credit: @USBPChief / Twitter

The newspaper’s sources say that the saw trick has primarily worked in places where the electronic sensor system isn’t operational just yet. Once powered on, officials claim that it will alert CBP to vibrations that occur when someone is, say, sawing through “The Wall.”

According to CBP, the Trump administration has constructed 76 miles of new border barriers, with another 158 miles under construction. Trump plans to complete 450 miles of border barriers by the end of 2020.

READ: Twitter Is Cackling Over Trump’s ‘Really Big’ Border Wall He Said Is Being Built In Colorado

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Things That Matter

Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

Entertainment

Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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