The only thing separating Sunland Park New Mexico from the Anapra neighborhood in Juarez is a chain link fence.
“Obviously just by looking at it you can tell it’s completely dilapidated, it’s falling apart”, says Border Patrol Agent George Gomez.
The fence was built in the late 80’s by Joint Task Force Six, the chain link fence has been breached multiple times. In 2014 during the annual border mass, a woman was able to slide through into the U.S.
The new fence was approved as part of the 2006 Secure Fence Act, a bill that was passed with the purpose of securing the border. The new Anapra fence has a cost of $11 million dollars. It’ll cover approximately 1.5 miles and will be 18 feet high.
“it’s going to be a Bollard type of fencing so it’s just going to be steel beams with about two to three inches apart from each other”, says Gomez.
The fence will allow the agents more time to respond before someone makes an illegal entry.
As for the annual mass, border community events cannot take place while the area is in construction but agent Gomez says they will work with organizations to find different locations.
The fence construction is just now starting because fences were built in order of priority.
Completion of the new fence is expected for early next year.