Politics

Arizona gov begins sealing gaps in border wall with shipping containers topped with razor wire

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday issued an executive order to fill gaps in the border wall in Yuma with shipping containers topped with razor wire, saying that the state “can’t wait any longer.”

Ducey signed an order that directs the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to fill gaps in the border wall in the Yuma sector — where there has been a significant increase in migrant encounters in particular.

The construction, which began hours later, consists of 60 double-stacked shipping containers, welded shut and topped with four feet of razor wire. His office said that it is 22 feet tall and weighs nearly 9,000 lbs.

“Arizona has had enough,” Ducey said in a statement. “We can’t wait any longer. 

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Construction begins to fill gaps in the border wall in Yuma, Arizona, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.

Ducey went on to blame the Biden administration’s “lack of urgency on border security,” calling it a “dereliction of duty.” 

“For the last two years, Arizona has made every attempt to work with Washington to address the crisis on our border. Time and time again we’ve stepped in to clean up their mess. Arizonans can’t wait any longer for the federal government to deliver on their delayed promises,” he said.

Ducey’s office said that the project is expected to be completed over the weekend.

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There have been more than 200,000 migrant encounters along the southern border in each of the last four months. Recent data obtained by Fox News show that Yuma Sector has seen a 242% increase in encounters so far this fiscal year compared to last year.

Ducey’s office said that nonprofits in Yuma County have been overwhelmed, with capacity ranging from 115%-160%. The move was welcomed by Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls.

“Yuma has experienced the worst of the border crisis. We’re grateful to Governor Ducey for ingraining himself in this issue and finding solutions,” said Nicholls.

The plugging of the gaps is separate from a move announced last month by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to close four border wall gaps in Yuma — this time at Morelos Dam. The move came after Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., had pushed for the Biden administration to close those gaps.

“This is a step forward and I’ll keep working to ensure that Arizona has the tools needed for a secure and orderly process at the border including fencing and barriers where they make sense,” Kelly said in a statement.

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The Trump administration began construction of a border wall to combat illegal migration, building over 450 miles. However, the project was immediately halted by the Biden administration, leaving yawning gaps in the wall through which migrants have entered the U.S.

Since canceling the contracts, the administration has been wracked by massive migrant numbers that have overwhelmed border communities and caused a major political headache for the White House. DHS said it will address environment damage caused by the wall and fill some remaining gaps.

Fox News’ Bill Melugin contributed to this report.

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