Former Chief Patrol Agent of the US Border Patrol, Roy Villareal appeared on Theo Von’s podcast to discuss the current situation of the US border along Mexico. Theo Von is a stand-up comedian who hosts a YouTube podcast called ‘This Past Weekend’ and feautres guests from all backgrounds.
Roy Villareal led the Tuscon Sector in Arizona at the border from March 2019 until November 2020.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol’s parent agency, released limited details about Villareal’s departure as chief patrol agent,” according to a report from AZ Central.
Villareal expressed his concerns with the vulnerable spots and mile long gaps of unifished border wall. He revealed how smugglers work by using busses of people to drop off near one area of the border to distract border patrol.
Von asked the former agent about former President Trump’s plan to build the wall and if he believed the wall was going to be effective.
“So looking at Trump’s wall, again 32 years of doing this. When I first came to the Border Patrol, there was very little infrastructure along the border. It was strands of barbed wire, if it was even up, right. I remember being on a high-speed pursuit and I’m driving down off the freeway. We get into the dirt. We’re driving through these ravines and stuff. And had it not been for another agent yelling out to me to stop, I would’ve driven right into Mexico,” Villareal answered.
Mr. Villareal shared that they were arresting around a million and a half people a year around the late 80s/early 90s.
“Every night it was high-speed pursuits, foot chases. We were catching a thousand people a night and that’s just in one little station. I used to laugh because when I first joined the Border Patrol, I remember walking into a station and there was a somebody who had a shirt up for sale on the back of it was an agent laying face down with footprints on his back. What does that have to do? And he’s like ‘just get out in the field, you’ll see,’ And sure as heck you’re just getting overrun every day,” Villareal shared.
The former agent recalled massive surges of illegal immigrants and how the border wall streamlined patrolling the border by creating specific and strategic arrest points.
The Solution With Trump’s Wall
“People often, again, they think about the border as being this urban area, they can just drive right up to and patrol very easily. When you go out into the mountains, in the deserts, you need access. And what building the wall did was it gave us access to certain locations. So looking at Trump’s border wall, there was some new wall that was built. And then more importantly, there was a replacement wall. And I often laugh because people like, ‘well, it’s not wall, it’s not new wall.’ When you get a new pair of shoes, you don’t call a replacement pair of shoes. It’s a new pair of shoes. So we have new wall built is about I think was 450 miles of wall that was built,” Villareal shared about the new wall built.
Border patrol agents were able to analyze and stratgegize with the new border wall. They could place a wall down where it would help them deter people from coming into the U.S and also have an advantage point to make an arrest.
Von asked if they are finishing the wall or stopping the wall now and the former agent said there is a stop to the wall which is ‘very shortsighted.’
“So in building the wall, it’s not like they start at point A and then to B and then to C. What they did is it’s A and B here, an M over there, so that you have areas that are open. So they’re going to clear out existing fencing or they’ll grade for new wall and then they’re building in certain segments and building to finish the wall. So we’ve got. In just in Arizona itself, probably about three hundred gaps, some of which were as small as 50 feet, some as wide as a quarter-mile, and other areas where the wall was built up to a point where you put a gate in and you need gates to go back and forth because you have to do maintenance on the fencing, on the walls and sometimes rescues. And I’ll talk to you about that here shortly. So they didn’t finish these gates. So now you’ve got three hundred gaps in the wall, which means three hundred vulnerabilities. Three hundred places that smugglers can push people across,” Villareal stated.