Gov. Doug Ducey Issues Executive Order to Fill Gaps in Southern Border Wall

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) issued an executive order Friday to fill a 1,000-foot gap in the Yuma sector of the southern border wall.

“Arizona has had enough,” Ducey said. “We can’t wait any longer. The Biden administration’s lack of urgency on border security is 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.”

Ducey’s decision came after the Biden administration recently lifted the Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy, which required asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting a hearing in U.S. immigration court. This and other actions Ducey called “misguided decisions” have allegedly increased migrant traffic and illegal drugs.

Ducey directed the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to fill the holes. Sixty double-stacked shipping containers will be linked together and welded shut along the wall, with concertina wire reinforcing the top. These makeshift fill-ins will reach 22 feet in height, eight feet short of the border wall constructed during the Trump administration.

Emergency management contractor Ashbritt leads construction. The 25-person team is expected to complete the project by Sunday. Ducey stated it would cost six million dollars to fill the gap, a small portion of the $335 million he recently allocated for border fence construction and maintenance.

“It’s our responsibility to protect our citizens and law enforcement from this unprecedented crisis,” Ducey said. “With the resources and manpower in the right places, our Border Patrol and law enforcement will be better equipped to do their jobs well and prevent cartels from exploiting our communities. That’s exactly what our barrier mission will do.”

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there have been 235,230 migrant encounters in Yuma between October 2021 and June 2022.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls said the county is not equipped to handle this many migrants, with shelters and nonprofits seeing upwards of 160 percent maximum capacity. Some migrants who make the treacherous journey to Yuma cannot receive needed food, shelter, or medicine because of the influx.

Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director Time Roemer praised Ducey for his actions to help Arizonans while Washington “lacks a sense of urgency” in dealing with the border crisis.

“The brave men and women of law enforcement need this support so they can conduct their important work catching the people who don’t want to get caught and stopping lethal drugs from coming over the border,” Roemer said.

In June, ABC15 reported that Mexican prosecutors found a facility with a pill press for manufacturing illicit fentanyl in the border city of San Luis Rio Colorado, which is just across from Yuma. Reportedly, Mexican cartels import fentanyl precursors from China and then press it into counterfeit pills meant to resemble Xanax or mix it with other drugs, which has led to a surge in overdoses caused by people not realizing they were taking fentanyl.

The Arizona Sun Times reported that the Biden administration began to quietly continue construction on the Yuma border wall at the end of July. Construction occurred near the Morelos Dam to close four gaps that presented a safety concern for migrants and responders who could slip and drown in the Colorado River in that area.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Doug Ducey” by Governor Doug Ducey. Background Photo “Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Prepare to Fill the Gaps in the Yuma Border Wall” by Doug Ducey.


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