Washington, May 1 (IANS) US Vice President Mike Pence visited the border between California state and Mexico to inspect the construction of a new border wall.
Pence’s visit to Calexico on Monday comes a day after dozens of migrants in a caravan – that started with 1,500 people from Central America at Tapachula (Chiapas) – arrived at the international border seeking asylum, reports Efe news.
“Men, women and children like those gathered at our border today are exploited by human smugglers and criminal and drug cartels who seize on their hardship and difficulty to undermine our laws and profit for themselves,” Pence said in a speech before members of the Border Patrol at the El Centro military base.
He visited the area where work is on to replace the existing border fence between Calexico and Mexico that was installed in the 1990s.
Border Patrol chief Varla Provost presented Pence with a piece of the metal used in one of the sections that had been replaced.
During his address to the Border Patrol, Pence reiterated the federal government’s commitment to building the promised border wall.
“When it comes to the border wall, we’re going to build it all,” he said.
He went on to urge the Congress to plug legal loopholes that were exploited by traffickers, such as the “catch-and-release program or asylum policies that don’t require people to stay in the first safe country in which they arrive”.
Pence’s visit comes a month after President Donald Trump visited the border between San Diego and Tijuanato inspect eight prototypes for the wall.