Would a wall work? We asked a former border agent - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Would a wall work? We asked a former border agent

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Retired Chief Border Agent Ray Ortega spent three decades of his career on the frontlines securing our nation's border. During his time, Ortega witnessed gruesome acts of violence along the San Diego/Tijuana border. "Witnessing murders along the border fence that you couldn't do anything about. Sometimes several a night. Women and children being raped where you couldn't get to them and rescue them. That went on for decades," said Ortega.

In 1986, San Diego border agents reached a breaking point apprehending 629,000 people, in just one year. In 1989, Ortega witnessed the construction on a 14 mile border fence began to help secure the heavily trafficked border between Tijuana And San Diego. Ortego credited the fencing for curbing the kind of violence he witnessed. "What we did is we built this 14-mile section of fence, and it basically stopped all of that activity." Ortega told KHQ.

In Ortega's 26 years of southern border experience, he says having a secure border works, "Having a secure border does prevent that kind of activity. That kind of criminal activity and I believe that good fences make good neighbors."

Fencing now spans 700 miles along parts of the 2,000 miles of U.S./Mexico border.

While some people come through the southern border from all over the world illegally, a problem still remains "People are coming here through the border from all over the world. They work their way to Mexico, and they come across the border illegally." Ortega said. He continued by saying "Additionally we have tens of thousands of people who come here with visas tourist visas, student visas,  business visas and there is no way for the government to track them and they tend to disappear into society."

"The risks of living without a secure border is you don't know who's coming in. There is no way to vet them. They tell us who they are and that's what he have to believe." Ortega told KHQ. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-07-21 05:58:53 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>
  • John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:31 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:31:02 GMT

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>
  • Spokane motorcyclist dies in DUI crash near Reardan

    Spokane motorcyclist dies in DUI crash near Reardan

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:47 PM EDT2018-07-21 17:47:50 GMT

    REARDAN, Wash. -  A Spokane man died after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 2 near Reardan in a DUI incident Friday night. Gregory Sutton, 35 of Spokane, was traveling westbound on Highway 2 on his Honda motorcycle when he left the roadway and was ejected from the bike, landing in a ditch near Mile Post 262 in Lincoln County.

    >>

    REARDAN, Wash. -  A Spokane man died after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 2 near Reardan in a DUI incident Friday night. Gregory Sutton, 35 of Spokane, was traveling westbound on Highway 2 on his Honda motorcycle when he left the roadway and was ejected from the bike, landing in a ditch near Mile Post 262 in Lincoln County.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:31 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:31:02 GMT

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>
  • Man who took hostages at supermarket in custody; 1 person killed

    Man who took hostages at supermarket in custody; 1 person killed

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:51 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:51:17 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>
  • Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:37:00 GMT

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>