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The GOP governor of Arizona gave a major update on Monday regarding his state’s efforts to plug a huge border wall gap that was unfinished by the time former President Donald Trump left office.
In a Twitter post, GOP Gov. Doug Ducey showcased the temporary barrier using before and after photos of a gap that stretched for nearly one-quarter of a mile near the town of Yuma.
The ‘before’ photo shows bare ground with some construction vehicles parked in the background, while the ‘after’ picture features the newly install barrier: A line of double-stacked shipping containers that are topped with razor wire as they were being installed.
Ducey’s administration announced the border project not long after it began on Friday; it was finished over the weekend, the Daily Wire reports.
“The thousand-foot gap in the border wall near Yuma is closed,” Ducey tweeted.
The thousand-foot gap in the border wall near Yuma is closed.
BEFORE: AFTER: pic.twitter.com/b32XQHXFMN
— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) August 15, 2022
KAWC, a local outlet, reported that the Yuma construction project was only the first and that the state plans to continue closing other gaps beginning next with one near the Morelos Dam located just outside of Yuma.
“It is definitely helpful,” said Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls said in an interview with local radio station KTAR last week. “It’s interim, but there are 700 or 800 people coming through the border every day.”
The mayor went on to say, however, that the barrier won’t halt the flow of illegal aliens into the state completely.
“[W]e have over 50 gaps in the wall,” he admitted, going on to say that recently, over a four-day period, Border Patrol agents deployed to the area were unable to handle the massive flow of migrants streaming across from Mexico.
It should be noted that the gaps Arizona is moving to close are the same ones that the Biden administration vowed to plug as recently as last month.
“In the last two weeks we got funding for filling the gaps, but it needs federal approval,” Nicholls said, going on to point out that getting approval to erect a permanent barrier takes a great deal of time, though the temporary ones are worth the effort.
“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.”
Tim Roemer, the director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security, said there is high confidence that putting up the barriers will withstand expected legal challenges, most likely from the Biden administration and pro-immigration groups.
“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 KAWC.
He went on to rip the Biden administration for failing to rapidly close the gaps.
“Even the federal government has said these gaps must be filled, they’re just not doing it,” he told the outlet. “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 Daily Wire reported on the make-up of the barrier:
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.
In June, Kari Lake, now the GOP gubernatorial nominee, vowed to finish the wall if she is elected in November.
During an interview, Lake also made it clear that there was nothing President Joe Biden could do to stop her from finishing Donald Trump’s border wall if she becomes the next governor of Arizona.
Lake said she would not ask for the federal government’s permission to finish sections of the border wall that were not yet completed during Trump’s tenure while essentially daring Biden to “arrest” her for doing so.
“They’re coming through a funnel, where there’s a gap in the president’s wall, and it is on federal land, but let’s build the wall anyway. What’s Joe Biden going to do? Arrest a sitting governor?” she said at the time.