Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says gaps at border wall near Yuma have been filled
Aug 24, 2022, 3:46 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2022, 11:00 am
(Twitter Photo/Doug Ducey)
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Wednesday that border wall gaps the state was filling in near Yuma have been completed.
Crews have worked since Aug. 12 to fill in nearly three-quarters of a mile of gaps — about 3,800 feet — with double-stacked shipping containers.
Ducey announced an executive order that day and five gaps were finished in the following 11 days.
The final section of openings was finished Tuesday, according to Ducey.
“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 press release.
Funding for the first 1,000 feet of the project — $6 million — came from the 2023 fiscal budget.
Ducey’s office earlier this month attributed the necessity of the move in part to the Biden administration’s decision to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy, the Trump-era action requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.
The announcement also came two weeks after the Biden administration authorized completion of the Donald Trump-funded border wall in an open area near Yuma, close to where the state filled in the gaps.
About 50 workers from contractor AshBritt constructed the container wall.
A total of 130 containers that measured 22 feet tall and weighed 8,800 pounds were welded shut and topped with 4 feet of razor wire.
Within a week of the start of construction, a portion of the wall was knocked over.
Ducey’s office said the toppled shipping containers weren’t a result of strong weather, but were caused by humans. They believed it was cartel related.
“Clearly we struck a nerve,” a Ducey spokesman told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Aug. 16. “Someone clearly doesn’t like what we’re doing.”
Opponents of the wall contend that its design isn’t beneficial for Border Patrol agents.
Andy Gordon, a former Department of Homeland Security counsel under Barack Obama, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Thursday the opaque containers don’t allow agents to monitor both sides of the border simultaneously.
Gordon also said that the barriers were placed in areas where there wasn’t high migrant traffic.
“You know, this is just a terrible way of doing it, assuming you need to be doing it at all,” Gordon said.