Border patrol official says 'holistic' approach is needed to curb flow of drugs at the border

Border Patrol agents are taking a "holistic" approach when it comes to combating the flow of drugs across the southern U.S. border, San Diego Border Patrol official Rodney Scott said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "Rising."

"We're layering technology and officers on that threat on a daily basis where, every time technology improves, we're putting that at that port of entry," Scott, chief Border Patrol agent with the San Diego sector, told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton last week. 

"We're making positive improvements in border security to address the hard [narcotics], the fentanyl, the opioid threat, but it's a holistic border. You can't just do one piece without the other," he continued. 

Scott told Sexton that drug smugglers have employed new methods to get the substances across the border. 

"Smugglers will use any mechanism they possibly can. They'll use the route of least resistance, and it's a business, so they want to minimize their overhead," Scott said. 

"What's going on today is the cartels are having to spend a lot of money and a lot of effort to build these deep concealed hidden compartments in vehicles," he continued. "Those loads aren't thousands of pounds loads anymore. They're ... usually 20, 30, 40 pounds loads at a time." 

Scott's comments come amid a weeks-long partial government shutdown that began amid a standoff over funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE's proposed U.S.–Mexico border wall.

Trump has demanded $5.7 billion to construct his long-promised border wall, but Democrats have said they will not budge on his funding request, offering more for border security instead.

Trump claims a wall would curb the flow of illegal drugs across the border and reduce crime. Democrats, meanwhile, argue that a 2,000-mile-long barrier would be an ineffective solution for the length of the U.S.–Mexico border.

— Julia Manchester