Yuma mayor: Gov. Ducey’s executive order to fill wall gaps ‘definitely helps’

Aug 13, 2022, 7:15 AM
In an aerial view, immigrants wait in line to be processed by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing...
In an aerial view, immigrants wait in line to be processed by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing through a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border barrier on May 21, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona. Title 42, the controversial pandemic-era border policy enacted by former President Trump, which cites COVID-19 as the reason to rapidly expel asylum seekers at the U.S. border, was set to officially expire on May 23rd. A federal judge in Louisiana delivered a ruling yesterday blocking the Biden administration from lifting Title 42. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made news Friday, issuing an executive order that would fill out nearly a quarter-mile of gaps in the border wall near Yuma.

Construction on the gaps began at 9 a.m. and is being funded by $6 million from the fiscal year 2023 state budget.

“It is definitely helpful,” Yuma mayor Doug Nicholls told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Friday. “It’s interim, but there’s 700 or 800 people coming through the border every day. It won’t stop them all, we have over 50 gaps in the wall.”

Nicholls said they will use 40-foot shipping containers stacked on top of one another to fill out the gaps in the wall. He added that it’s the interim plan to fill the gaps while they wait for the Biden administration to complete the wall as promised.

In January,  Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines met with DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, promising that changes would be made at the border.

However, Nicholls said that the gaps being filled with the shipping containers are the same ones Mayorkas said would be filled.

“Yes, same gaps,” the mayor said. “In the last two weeks we got funding for filling the gaps, but it needs federal approval.”

Nicholls said that Border Patrol experienced four days where they couldn’t handle the flow of migrants crossing the border.

He added that the flow has dropped off some, and they’ve received assistance in transporting migrants.

With the president planning to eventually fill the wall, Nicholls doesn’t think this move by Ducey is a waste.

“Because of the time between now and then, it could take them 16 weeks or so to fill it,” Nicholls said. “That’s a lot of people coming through, I think it’s worth it to spend now and slow the flow.”

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Yuma mayor: Gov. Ducey’s executive order to fill wall gaps ‘definitely helps’