On his campaign website, Donald Trump lists ways to make Mexico pay for the wall.

The campaign’s website reads, “Compelling Mexico to pay for the wall.” Maybe he can do that if he is elected president, but that is not where he should put his efforts. His thinking is not up to date. The wall, even if it gets built, will stop neither illegals nor the incursion of drugs into the United States.

We now know there are vast numbers of tunnels, and tunnels can be dug from anyone’s house in Mexico along the border to California or other places. No wall is going to stop these tunnels from being built.

So, how are the tunnels built? All one needs to do is to go to the website Alibaba. Alibaba functions as a business-to-business website and sells equipment. In the search engine, I put in “tunnel digging equipment.” What I found was amazing, and the equipment would clearly allow tunnels to be built by almost anyone who had a reason (anything from getting aliens across the border to sending drugs our way) to avoid U.S. Customs, or ICE.

On the Alibaba site, if you do a search for “tunnel boring” or “tunnel drilling,” all kinds of machines appear. They are not inexpensive, costing between $72,000 to $100,000 for the least expensive or much more. But what’s $100,000 when you have a lucrative immigrant or drug-smuggling business?

Since 1990, the U.S. has discovered more than 150 tunnels. There have been tunnels discovered by immigration officials. They have put out a fact sheet saying how tunnels can be discovered. They can include four general methods of detecting tunnels:

  • Seismic activity (low-frequency digging noises and tunnel transit noises)
  • Magnetic anomaly (electrical power lines in the tunnel, metal digging tools or metal shoring)
  • Acoustic activity (higher frequency noises)
  • Density anomalies (the tunnel is a hole, and so the amount of earth below the surface changes when you dig a tunnel)

Apparently, though, most tunnels are discovered from good, old-fashioned spy technology. In other words, people reporting on tunnel making.

In the early days, the tunnels were used to transport drugs. Now, with better border patrols, they are also used to transport people. Most of the tunnels are linked to California and Arizona.

Tunnels are now updated with new technology. One recent discovery revealed a tunnel even had a railway inside, although some are no bigger than crawl spaces. Some are constructed with slave labor, and others are dug by locals. Some people who dig these tunnels even live and sleep in the tunnels until their completion. They can take anywhere from six months to more than a year to build. These tunnels can be made in homes on the border and be hidden under floor boards. They’re inside seemingly regular homes, but the houses contain tunnels to carry drug and human cargo.

ICE is not wanting human beings to be ambushed and killed is beginning to use robots. That is a wise move. However, it won’t be long before the illegal enterprises find a way to use robots for digging tunnels, too.

There are also water tunnels filled with people wearing wetsuits and swimming with drugs. So far, there has not been a large number of people coming across the border this way, as it’s a method for transporting drugs. However, with technology “improving,” it won’t be long before criminals find a way to tunnel under the water, too.

The Trump campaign shouldn’t talk about building a wall, but it should focus on how to develop the technology to better detect tunnels. The wall may appeal to unsophisticated Americans wanting to stop human and drug smuggling. But the smugglers aren’t using the land route. They are building tunnels, and we need to work with better technology and perhaps find out who is purchasing digging equipment from Alibaba or similar sites to keep up with the tunneling technology. Surveillance of local hardware stores in Mexico is a basic but effective means of finding out who is purchasing any old-fashioned digging equipment.

A wall will not prevent drugs or people from illegally entering the homeland. Keeping up with technology so we can better target the tunneling will.

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