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>>

  • Police: Woman locked her kids in car trunk while she shopped

    Police: Woman locked her kids in car trunk while she shopped

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:26 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:26:48 GMT

    RIVERDALE, Utah (AP) - A 39-year-old Utah woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her two young children in her car's trunk while she went inside a Wal-Mart store to shop. Riverdale police say witnesses heard the children ages 2 and 5 making noise and saw the car shaking, got the older child to pull the emergency latch and called 911.

    >>

    RIVERDALE, Utah (AP) - A 39-year-old Utah woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her two young children in her car's trunk while she went inside a Wal-Mart store to shop. Riverdale police say witnesses heard the children ages 2 and 5 making noise and saw the car shaking, got the older child to pull the emergency latch and called 911.

    >>
  • Police release new photo of Manchester bombing suspect, ask for help

    Police release new photo of Manchester bombing suspect, ask for help

    Saturday, May 27 2017 5:23 PM EDT2017-05-27 21:23:18 GMT

    MANCHESTER, England - Manchester Police have released a new photo of the man suspected of killing 22 people in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert on Monday. In the photo released Saturday shows 22-year-old suspect Salman Abedi in a brown hat, jeans, glasses and a black Hollister vest. The background is blacked out.

    >>

    MANCHESTER, England - Manchester Police have released a new photo of the man suspected of killing 22 people in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert on Monday. In the photo released Saturday shows 22-year-old suspect Salman Abedi in a brown hat, jeans, glasses and a black Hollister vest. The background is blacked out.

    >>
  • Counterfeit cash getting more advanced in Spokane

    Counterfeit cash getting more advanced in Spokane

    Saturday, May 27 2017 10:05 PM EDT2017-05-28 02:05:41 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - We've told you of counterfeit money being used to buy Girl Scout cookies, and movie money used at a gas station. Now a Spokane bank teller tells KHQ some counterfeiters are getting more advanced with their forgeries. "The first time it came to us as a local business who received two of them and they were just making a regular deposit," she said.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - We've told you of counterfeit money being used to buy Girl Scout cookies, and movie money used at a gas station. Now a Spokane bank teller tells KHQ some counterfeiters are getting more advanced with their forgeries. "The first time it came to us as a local business who received two of them and they were just making a regular deposit," she said.

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

  • Spokane firefighters rescue woman trapped on log

    Spokane firefighters rescue woman trapped on log

    Sunday, May 28 2017 2:40 PM EDT2017-05-28 18:40:07 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Fire crews with Spokane County Fire District 9 responded to a report of a woman stuck on a log in the Little Spokane River Saturday. Firefighters say that due to thick brush along the banks and the bordering marsh, getting access to the river was difficult. Crews used a 100-foot aerial platform to quickly locate the woman from above.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Fire crews with Spokane County Fire District 9 responded to a report of a woman stuck on a log in the Little Spokane River Saturday. Firefighters say that due to thick brush along the banks and the bordering marsh, getting access to the river was difficult. Crews used a 100-foot aerial platform to quickly locate the woman from above.

    >>
  • Gas break closes roads near Glenrose

    Gas break closes roads near Glenrose

    Sunday, May 28 2017 2:31 PM EDT2017-05-28 18:31:15 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane firefighters closed some roads near Glenrose because of a broken gas line Sunday morning. Glenrose was closed from 29th to 31st while crews worked to get the leak under control. Firefighters on scene said some houses in the area were evacuated. Avista workers were on scene Sunday working to fix the problem.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane firefighters closed some roads near Glenrose because of a broken gas line Sunday morning. Glenrose was closed from 29th to 31st while crews worked to get the leak under control. Firefighters on scene said some houses in the area were evacuated. Avista workers were on scene Sunday working to fix the problem.

    >>
  • Police say 8 dead in Mississippi shooting

    Police say 8 dead in Mississippi shooting

    Sunday, May 28 2017 2:16 PM EDT2017-05-28 18:16:56 GMT

    BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - Authorities say a shooting spree that left eight people dead in Mississippi began with a call regarding a domestic dispute.      The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Sunday that three female victims and a Lincoln County sheriff's deputy were killed. 

    >>

    BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - Authorities say a shooting spree that left eight people dead in Mississippi began with a call regarding a domestic dispute.      The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Sunday that three female victims and a Lincoln County sheriff's deputy were killed. 

    >>