These are some photos of work being done in the area of Campo, California taken July 4th, 2020. The work was just started a couple of months earlier. The new fence building starts to the east of Campo, near the communities of Boulevard and Tiera del Sol. This is a stretch of about 17 miles in total, running from the outskirts of Tecate to the community of Boulevard. Estimate they have constructed around a mile of this stretch, so far.
Several companies are reportedly working on this project. The requirement is to finish it by December, 2020. The terrain near Campo is a little rugged and it will be one of the last, most obviously vulnerable stretches on the California border to get to get a new, 30-foot bollard fence. The illegal traffic is heavy now, because the smugglers can see the area being closed off soon. No fence will be perfect, but they know that life is about to become a lot more difficult for them.
I call it a fence, because it does not look like a wall and this kind of bollard fence have existed on the border for 12-15 years and it has always been called a “fence”. The Border Patrol has a lot of experience with this kind of fence and this is what they wanted, only they wanted it to be higher in many places, up to 30-feet high.
Most of the older bollard fence is only 15 feet high. It is much to Trump’s credit that he approved what the Border Patrol told him they needed and did not try to force something else on them for his own personal political reasons. The Border Patrol has almost 100-years experience on the border. What they have always lacked is not the experience and knowledge, but the financial and political support that they have been enjoying recently under Trump. There is no reason whatsoever to be embarrassed about a 30-foot fence, constructed of steel bollards filled with top-grade concrete and rebar.
The old fence in the area around Campo is mostly 10-foot-high, landing mat fence in very bad condition and in some places there is no fence at all, except maybe for barbed wire. About 10 percent of the fence, though, is the old 15-18 foot high bollard fence from the George W. Bush era. Highway 80 and Interstate 5 run near the border near Campo. So, it is a convenient pick-up place for illegal crossers.
The land in this area around Tierra del Sol, close to the border, is privately owned and posted with “no trespassing” signs. For that reason the photos are taken from a distance.
These photos are high resolution. If you want to see more detail, click on the photo and expand the image on your touch screen.
Tierra del Sol
To the left in this image the fence is the old, Bush bollard fence. Much shorter than the new Trump fence. The old fence is pretty good fence. I do not see them tearing down the old bollard fence anywhere. They may leave it there and add a second fence behind it at some point, as they did in San Diego. In San Diego, the first fence is 18-foot bollards and the second fence is 30-foot bollards. It is an awesome double fence, completed last year, 16 miles long.
Smith Canyon has always been wide open, with no fence at all. It is a pretty big engineering challenge. Presumably, this will be a 30-foot high bollard fence all the way across the canyon. We shall soon see.
The fence on the rim on the other side of the canyon is also an old, Bush-era bollard fence a few hundred yards long and 15-18 feet tall. There are a number of these short segments of older bollard fence in this area. The new fence will be 17 miles of continuous bollard fence.
El Paso Taco Shop
El Paso, means “the pass”, or in other words, the place to cross. It is one of the few places to eat in Campo. Border Patrol agents often eat there. Hopefully, soon the name will have to be changed to “No Paso!” when this fence is finished.
I passed by this Taco shop many times, without thinking about the apparent humorous, subversive intent of the name. For many years, Campo has been one of the most convenient places to illegally pass into the United States on the California border.
To see more posts on the border fence, go to this link:
The Real Border Fence archive