Arizona Governor Doug Ducey touted the completion of the state’s new border barrier over the weekend.
In a Twitter post Monday, Ducey showed off Arizona’s temporary barrier, with before and after pictures of a nearly quarter-mile long gap in the southern border near Yuma. The before picture shows empty ground with construction vehicles in the background; the after picture shows the barrier, a series of double-stacked shipping containers topped with razor wire, being built. The project was announced shortly after construction had begun on Friday, and it was completed over the weekend.
“The thousand-foot gap in the border wall near Yuma is closed,” Ducey tweeted.
According to local news outlet KAWC, the Yuma construction was the first in a series of gaps that will be closed by the state. The next gap the state is targeting is one near the Morelos Dam outside Yuma, the outlet reported Monday.
“It is definitely helpful,” Yuma mayor Doug Nicholls said in an interview with local radio station KTAR Friday. “It’s interim, but there’s 700 or 800 people coming through the border every day.” Nicholls admitted, however, that the barrier would not halt the flow of illegal immigrants totally. “[W]e have over 50 gaps in the wall,” he said. He also noted that there was a period of four days recently where Border Patrol agents simply could not handle the flow of illegal immigrants coming across the border.
The gaps Arizona is currently filling are the same ones the Biden administration announced it was going to close in late July.
“In the last two weeks we got funding for filling the gaps, but it needs federal approval,” Nicholls said. But approvals to build a permanent wall will take a long time, so Nicholls said the temporary barriers are worth it. “Because of the time between now and then, it could take them 16 weeks or so to fill it,” he told KTAR. “That’s a lot of people coming through, I think it’s worth it to spend now and slow the flow.”
Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director Tim Roemer said that the state is confident its decisions will hold up to legal scrutiny. “We have consulted with our legal team, and we feel confident in the decisions we’ve made that we’re moving forward with today,” Roemer told local news outlet KAWC. Roemer also blasted the federal government for not moving to close the gaps faster. “Even the federal government has said these gaps must be filled, they’re just not doing it,” he said. “Their failure to act is what’s driving our sense of urgency right now. So, it would be very hypocritical for them to take action against us when they’re saying it needs to be done.”
The border barrier was built to close a nearly 1,000 foot-long gap in the wall near the Yuma sector of the southern border, as The Daily Wire reported Friday.
The barrier was constructed out of 60 9×40-foot shipping containers, each one weighing about 8,800 pounds, double stacked, welded together, and topped with razor wire. The full structure stands about 22 feet high, shorter than the 30 foot-tall sections of bollard fencing installed by the Trump administration in the same area. The decision to start construction on the wall was made earlier last week, and state officials had not yet informed federal authorities at the time.