Arizona congressman calls for removal of border wall wire

Feb 8, 2019, 2:45 PM

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)...

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman who represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border called on the federal government to remove wire that is located in a heavily trafficked area.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva said in a letter to the heads of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense that razor wire that covers the entirety of a downtown Nogales border wall is a safety hazard to residents and violates the town’s code.

“The town’s code prohibits the use of razor wire except in industrial areas and storage parks, and when used it must be at least six feet above the ground,” Grijalva wrote.

“The razor wire along the border wall is ground level and would cause serious injury to anyone who touches it.”

The Democrat, who represents the state’s third congressional district, also said he supported the town’s resolution condemning the wire that was passed on Wednesday.

“Forcing them to act as a photo opportunity to reinforce the false narrative of rampant lawlessness at the border promulgated by the president is nothing short of ridiculous,” the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan read.

“I urge you to take the safety and concerns of Nogales residents into consideration and remove this needless wire.”

The town, which sits across the border from Nogales, Mexico, in the resolution threatened to sue the federal government unless all concertina wire installed within the city limits was removed.

The council’s resolution said the razor wire would harm or kill anyone who scales the wall and “is only found in a war, prison or battle setting” and should not be in downtown Nogales.

Soldiers have installed concertina wire at or near several official crossings at the border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the new horizontal layers of razor wire were added at a request for additional support, but did not say who made the request.

In a statement Wednesday night, the CBP said the request was for “high-risk urban areas commonly exploited by criminal smuggling organizations.”

In late November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the military had sent 36 miles (58 kilometers) of concertina for use in California, Arizona, and Texas.

Nogales, a city of about 20,000 people, is a fraction of the size of its Mexican counterpart, but its economy is largely reliant on Mexican shoppers and cross-border trade.

Illegal crossings in that area have dropped steeply in the past several years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)...

Danny Shapiro

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs pulls remaining director nominations, cites ‘partisan obstructionism’

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Monday she withdrew the remaining director nominees from the Senate confirmation process, saying partisanship had forced her to find other means to fill the roles.

1 hour ago

(Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP, File)...

Jim Sharpe

New border numbers show DC doesn’t care to do the math (because they don’t care)

KTAR host Jim Sharpe believes D.C. needs to do the math to figure out more Border Patrol agents, immigration judges and options are needed to curb rising migrant numbers.

3 hours ago

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)...

Country singer Cody Johnson coming to Glendale on ‘The Leather Tour’

Country singer Cody Johnson will make a stop in Glendale early next year as part of "The Leather Tour," named after his upcoming album.

4 hours ago

Photos of the Carnegie Medal and Mesa's Jonathon Baez, was selected to receive the prestigious awar...

Kevin Stone

Mesa hero who saved girls from burning apartment gets Carnegie Medal

A Mesa hero who saved two girls from an apartment fire last year was selected to receive a prestigious Carnegie Medal for his act of extraordinary bravery.

5 hours ago

Mugshot of Isaiah King, who is accused of fatally shooting a man in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sept. 21, ...

Arrest made after fatal shooting at west Phoenix apartment complex

A suspect is in custody after a man was shot and killed at a west Phoenix apartment complex last week, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Hobbs sits at a table with representatives of the Korean International Trade Association...

Gov. Hobbs returns to Arizona from east Asia after meeting industry leaders

Gov. Katie Hobbs returned to Arizona on Friday after concluding a weeklong trip to Taiwan and South Korea to strengthen economic ties.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

Arizona congressman calls for removal of border wall wire