Arizona governor Ducey closes border wall gaps
A gap the size of nearly 11 football fields was closed.
(The Center Square) -
Arizona tax dollars have walled up nearly 11 football fields worth of previously open border with Mexico.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Wednesday that 3,820 feet of the border near Yuma had been lined with double-stacked shipping containers.
“Following a historic investment in this year’s state budget, forged in partnership with legislative leaders, we’ve taken a major step forward to secure our border,” Ducey said in a news release. “Five wide open gaps in the border wall near Yuma neighborhoods and businesses are now closed off. In just 11 days, Arizona did the job the federal government has failed to do — and we showed them just how quickly and efficiently the border can be made more secure – if you want to.”
The term-limited governor proposed the state take matters into its own hands in his January state of the state address, noting the Yuma area had seen a record surge of undocumented immigrants rushing across open spans of the border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows the Yuma sector had 259,895 migrant encounters from October 2021 to July of this year, up almost 250% from last year.
“Every day hundreds of people come across the border into the Yuma area,” said Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls. “By closing the border wall gaps, Governor Ducey is helping to protect our city from the dangerous drugs and bad actors that come through on a daily basis.”
The non-consecutive spans of the now-closed border consist of 130 shipping containers stacked two high with coils of concertina wire, Ducey’s office said. The project, dubbed the Yuma Border Barrier Mission, took 48 workers from contractor AshBritt to install the 8,800-pound shipping containers and 4,500 feet of concertina wire.
“On the day President Biden was sworn into office, he issued a proclamation ordering a pause in the construction of the border wall going up on our southern border,” Ducey said. “Since then, illegal activity in Yuma and other border communities have skyrocketed. Arizona could not just stand by and allow this situation to continue.”
Acting in concert with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Ducey has taken multiple steps to secure the state’s southern border from a surge in immigration. On April 20, 2021, he issued a Declaration of Emergency deploying the Arizona National Guard to the southern border to aid federal, state and local border policing efforts.
Both Ducey and Abbott have sent buses full of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York, and elsewhere, prompting criticism from those mayors over the sudden influx of thousands of immigrants seeking aid.