Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) announced Wednesday that over 3,000 feet of previously open sections in Yuma’s border wall had been filled, celebrating that Arizona is doing what the federal government will not.
“Five wide open gaps in the border wall near Yuma neighborhoods and businesses are now closed off. In just 11 days, Arizona did the job the federal government has failed to do – and we showed them just how quickly and efficiently the border can be made more secure – if you want to,” said Ducey.
As reported by The Arizona Sun Times, Ducey issued an executive order to fill the holes along the Yuma wall earlier this month.
Since then, it has taken 48 workers from contractor Ashbritt 11 days to double-stack 130 shipping containers in border gaps. The containers were welded shut and linked together with over 4,500 feet of concertina wire attached for additional security.
🔹130 shipping containers
🔹3,820 linear feet
We did it. Yuma is safer today. pic.twitter.com/VXNHDnvbmS
— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) August 24, 2022
According to Duecy, the funding for this six-million-dollar project came from House Bill (HB) 2317, sponsored by State Representative John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills), which allocated $335 million for constructing a border fence.
While Ducey celebrated the “win for Arizona,” he also acknowledged that the work is not over yet and that the federal government must realize its unfulfilled promises to fix the problem seen at the border.
“Our border barrier mission is a win for Arizona, our communities, our farmers and our law enforcement,” Ducey said. “But the effort to secure our border is far from complete. Washington must act. Border security is a federal responsibility. They need to fix the border they’ve broken.”
As expected, the Yuma sector has suffered from the open borders in the area. Ducey shared that the area’s hospitals, food banks, nonprofits, and shelters have been at overcapacity for months. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls thanked Ducey for helping the community from the dangers of an open border.
“By closing the border wall gaps, Governor Ducey is helping to protect our city from the dangerous drugs and bad actors that come through on a daily basis,” Nicholls said. “Yuma is grateful for the effective process of getting these containers in place quickly and secured. Governor Ducey showed the nation how to secure the border and keep illegal activity at the border at bay.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, the Yuma sector has seen 259,895 encounters from October 2021 to July 2022, up nearly 250 percent from the previous fiscal year, the most significant increase of any southern border sector.
Aside from migrant encounters, a record amount of dangerous drugs also enter the country through the Yuma sector. In July, CBP agents seized over 2,100 pounds of fentanyl, a 200 percent increase from the previous month.
As reported by 12 News, CBP officers at the Nogales Port of Entry recently seized 265,000 “multi-colored” fentanyl pills that resemble candy. Port Director Michael Humphries said this discovery concerned him because small children could mistake the deadly drug for a treat.
8/17 CBP officers #Nogales POE seized over 15,000 fentanyl pills strapped to a person’s legs. Second consecutive day colored fentanyl pills with the appearance of candy seized .This could be the start of a trend with Transnational Criminal Organizations targeting younger users. pic.twitter.com/y5KT5Zveop
— Port Director Michael W. Humphries (@CBPPortDirNOG) August 18, 2022
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