The Coast Guard’s top admiral said Wednesday it would be “shortsighted” to think building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will stem illegal immigration on its own.
“I think we’d be shortsighted to think that if we build a wall that will end all the drivers for illegal migration,” Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard, said at an event in Washington when asked if he’s expecting an increase of illegal immigration via the ocean.
“If you can’t come across a terrestrial border between Mexico and the United States, then go around it,” he continued. “We keep a very close eye on what those trends are. Hasn’t happened, but that would probably be several years [away].”
Zukunft, who has announced his retirement for June, was speaking to the Defense Writers Group as about 1,600 National Guard troops are deploying to the border in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to support the Department of Homeland Security’s border security mission.