Border officials say wall alone won't keep smugglers out of Texas
LAREDO, Texas —
It's the toughest terrain in Texas - the South Texas border is no easy path into the United States.
President Trump campaigned on a promise to build a wall that would physically divide the U.S. and Mexico, but some whose job it is to protect the border say the solution isn't that simple.
"They need to have a true picture of how it is," says Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schemrber, a former border patrol agen himself. "People from up north, the congressmen, the senators. Some of them have never been here. they think it is very simple.
"The way people here see it, it's just gonna happen, because somebody wants that wall, it's gonna happen," he adds.
More than 100 miles down river in Webb County, Sheriff Martin Cuellar, a former Texas Department of Public Safety lieutenant, says a physical wall won't work for all parts of the border.
"I think the virtual wall will be better, less money it will cost in providing safety and give us an opportunity to be able to come up with what we think will suffice for our borders.
Some of the officials we spoke with say smugglers on the Mexican side of the border have gone high tech. They fly drones to monitor the actions of officers on the U.S. side. In some cases, U.S. security can't match the smugglers' technology.
"These crooks are high tech. They have no issues with money like we do."
For those supporting a virtual wall, high tech levels of security will do what a wall cannot.
"It's a network of cameras. drones, manned units, veterans in the command units. We are looking at being able to detect a threat across the border. Once it's detected, it will go through layers of security where we can zoom in and lock in on the threat as it goes all the way through until we disengage it."