COLUMBUS, New Mexico (Border Report) — The U.S. Border Patrol is deploying temporary highway checkpoints as needed in Southern New Mexico, the agency said on Wednesday.

Drivers this week reported seeing one such checkpoint along milepost 137 of New Mexico Highway 9, between Santa Teresa and Columbus. But these structures are not permanent.

“Tactical checkpoints are deployed depending on operational need and operational trends. This is not a permanent structure,” the Border Patrol said in an email to Border Report.

The tactical checkpoint has been deployed near the Border Patrol’s Santa Teresa station for numerous years, the agency said.

Federal officials said smuggling activity in this stretch of U.S.-Mexico border figured in the decision to install a 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall in an area previously covered only by Normandy-style vehicle barriers. Those are generally chest-high structures that resemble metal “Xs.”

Some of the vehicle barriers being replaced by a 30-foot steel bollard border wall in southern New Mexico. (Julian Resendiz/Border Report)
A trench is dug on the other side of the vehicle barrier to accommodate 30-foot steel bollard wall to stop people, not just vehicles, from making unauthorized entry into the U.S. through Southern New Mexico. (Julian Resendiz/Border Report)

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, contractors working with the Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations completed 20 miles of border wall system less than two years ago in Santa Teresa.

Another 29-mile stretch of a 46-mile contract has been completed west of Santa Teresa and south of Deming, New Mexico with Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense counter-narcotics funds.

Department of Defense military construction funds are paying for an additional 36 miles of border wall — of which 11 miles have been completed — in an area south of Deming and Lordsburg, New Mexico.

Further border wall construction is going on to the east of Santa Teresa and in El Paso, Texas, the agency said.

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