Amid tough reelection bid, Kelly says Biden admin to extend border wall after his, voters' 'pushing'

Kelly is consider among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats facing reelection in November

Updated: July 29, 2022 - 8:53am

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Arizona Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly says the Biden administration has agreed to his push to extend a stretch of U.S.-Mexico border wall in his state, ahead of his tough reelection bid this year.

"For too long, the Morelos Dam area has been an operational challenge for Border Patrol agents to properly secure the border and keep our communities safe," Kelly said Thursday, according to Newsmax. "I'm glad that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to Arizona and is going to close these gaps."

He also said the agency fulfilled the request follows "many months of pushing." 

The United States building a wall to keep migrants from illegally entering the country along its southern border was a major initiative for former President Trump that was largely opposed by Democrats.

Kelly is a Democrat in a once strong Republican state that in recent year has become more Democrat, in large part the results changing demographic.

The change helped him get elected to the Senate in 2020 in a special election, but Arizona's now more divided electorate has made reelection for politicians in the state much more difficult. 

Kelly is consider among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats facing reelection in November.

He is running unopposed in Tuesday's Democrat primary in Arizona, a state hit hard by the social and economic consequences of illegal migration. 

"It's great that DHS is moving forward with a project that should already be done, but this small gesture does not make up for the repeated failures on border security over the past two years," Mick McGuire, a retired Arizona National Guard adjutant general and GOP Senate candidate, told Newsmax. "By Kelly's own admission, he ignored this problem for nearly a full year after taking office. That's not good enough."

President Biden had halted all border wall construction in January 2021, leaving 350 miles of wall already funded unfinished, Newsmax also reports.

In the past 10 months, CBP has apprehended at least 20,000 illegal border crossers each month and more than 30,000 in some months, the Washington Examiner reported.