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>>

  • Door-to-door solicitor uses racial slur against Spokane woman

    Door-to-door solicitor uses racial slur against Spokane woman

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:39 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:39:10 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane couple is furious after they say someone who went door-to-door asking for donations used a racial slur against them. Roger and Christina Wink were at home when they heard a knock at the door. Christina answered, and a man described to be in his 20s said he was collecting money to send care packages to active military.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane couple is furious after they say someone who went door-to-door asking for donations used a racial slur against them. Roger and Christina Wink were at home when they heard a knock at the door. Christina answered, and a man described to be in his 20s said he was collecting money to send care packages to active military.

    >>
  • Level 3 evacuations issued for Bissell Fire burning in Stevens County

    Level 3 evacuations issued for Bissell Fire burning in Stevens County

    Monday, July 24 2017 9:36 AM EDT2017-07-24 13:36:09 GMT
    Texas teen calls mom, a 911 dispatcher, to say house ablazeTexas teen calls mom, a 911 dispatcher, to say house ablaze

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Level three evacuations have been issued in Stevens County as firefighters battle the Bissell Fire near Hunters, Washington.  The latest from DNR is that the fire is at 50 acres and no structures have been lost.  Level 3 evacuations were issued just after 8:00 p.m. as the fire grew quickly. The evacuation area consists of all residents within a mile radius of 3987 Bissel Road. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Level three evacuations have been issued in Stevens County as firefighters battle the Bissell Fire near Hunters, Washington.  The latest from DNR is that the fire is at 50 acres and no structures have been lost.  Level 3 evacuations were issued just after 8:00 p.m. as the fire grew quickly. The evacuation area consists of all residents within a mile radius of 3987 Bissel Road. 

    >>
  • Highway 95 reopens in Bonner County following crash

    Highway 95 reopens in Bonner County following crash

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:31 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:31:27 GMT

    PONDERAY, Idaho - Bonner County Emergency Management reports a multi-vehicle crash closed Highway 95 in both direction Sunday afternoon. The Bonner County Sheriff's Office reports the highway is closed at milepost 490 near Elmira Road, about 11 miles north of Ponderay, while investigators gather evidence and interview witnesses.

    >>

    PONDERAY, Idaho - Bonner County Emergency Management reports a multi-vehicle crash closed Highway 95 in both direction Sunday afternoon. The Bonner County Sheriff's Office reports the highway is closed at milepost 490 near Elmira Road, about 11 miles north of Ponderay, while investigators gather evidence and interview witnesses.

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

  • Scuba diver who died in Hood Canal identified

    Scuba diver who died in Hood Canal identified

    Monday, July 24 2017 10:35 AM EDT2017-07-24 14:35:03 GMT
    Scuba DiversScuba Divers

    SHELTON, Wash. -  A scuba diver who died in Washington state's Hood Canal has been identified. The News Tribune reports that Joshua Michael Parke of The Dalles, Oregon, died Saturday, according to the Mason County Coroner's Office. Officials say Parke was on a training dive in the Sund Rock Conservation Area near Hoodsport, Washington. After surfacing with his dive partner, Parke went unconscious.

    >>

    SHELTON, Wash. -  A scuba diver who died in Washington state's Hood Canal has been identified. The News Tribune reports that Joshua Michael Parke of The Dalles, Oregon, died Saturday, according to the Mason County Coroner's Office. Officials say Parke was on a training dive in the Sund Rock Conservation Area near Hoodsport, Washington. After surfacing with his dive partner, Parke went unconscious.

    >>
  • Man on ATV hit by crop duster in Maryland

    Man on ATV hit by crop duster in Maryland

    Monday, July 24 2017 10:28 AM EDT2017-07-24 14:28:48 GMT
    ATVATV

    BERLIN, Md. - A man driving an all-terrain vehicle in Maryland escaped serious injury after being struck by a crop duster. Maryland state police say in a statement that 23-year-old Drew Eckman was taken by the pilot of the crop duster to Atlantic General Hospital on Sunday morning. He suffered minor injuries. The pilot, 25-year-old Christopher Bunting, was not injured.

    >>

    BERLIN, Md. - A man driving an all-terrain vehicle in Maryland escaped serious injury after being struck by a crop duster. Maryland state police say in a statement that 23-year-old Drew Eckman was taken by the pilot of the crop duster to Atlantic General Hospital on Sunday morning. He suffered minor injuries. The pilot, 25-year-old Christopher Bunting, was not injured.

    >>
  • Level 3 evacuations issued for Bissell Fire burning in Stevens County

    Level 3 evacuations issued for Bissell Fire burning in Stevens County

    Monday, July 24 2017 9:36 AM EDT2017-07-24 13:36:09 GMT
    Texas teen calls mom, a 911 dispatcher, to say house ablazeTexas teen calls mom, a 911 dispatcher, to say house ablaze

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Level three evacuations have been issued in Stevens County as firefighters battle the Bissell Fire near Hunters, Washington.  The latest from DNR is that the fire is at 50 acres and no structures have been lost.  Level 3 evacuations were issued just after 8:00 p.m. as the fire grew quickly. The evacuation area consists of all residents within a mile radius of 3987 Bissel Road. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Level three evacuations have been issued in Stevens County as firefighters battle the Bissell Fire near Hunters, Washington.  The latest from DNR is that the fire is at 50 acres and no structures have been lost.  Level 3 evacuations were issued just after 8:00 p.m. as the fire grew quickly. The evacuation area consists of all residents within a mile radius of 3987 Bissel Road. 

    >>