Arizona has given up on waiting for President Biden to address the ongoing border crisis along the southern limits of the Grand Canyon state and is moving forward with building its own border wall.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled the plan Friday as construction began on the new barrier.
“Arizona has had enough. We can’t wait any longer. The Biden administration’s lack of urgency on border security is a dereliction of duty,” Ducey said in a statement.
“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.”
The state is planning to construct the wall in a thousand-foot gap near Yuma with 60 double stacked shipping containers that measure to approximately 22-feet-high each. The top of the barrier will feature concertina wire.
Ashbritt, an Emergency management contractor, is handling the construction which is anticipated to be finished over the weekend.
The project is expected to cost approximately $6 million.
The Department of Homeland Security and White House were reportedly unaware of the decision, according to the Washington Examiner.
Ducey’s director of communications, CJ Karamargin, told The Post that the decision came after the governor’s office has “been attempting to work with the federal government for months.”
“We have sent letters, they’ve gone unresponded…it’s just been very, it’s been super frustrating,” Karamargin said.
“We’ve attempted to reach out. We’ve not been successful, sadly,” he added.
The decision to erect the border wall comes as the governor’s office has transported more than a thousand migrants to Washington DC in order to ease tensions on border towns that have been faced with the brunt of the historic migrant levels.
Karamargin confirmed to The Post that as of Friday, their office had transported 1,425 people to D.C. on 38 buses. While 27% of all transported migrants say their final destination is New York, the governor’s office said there are no plans to begin transporting migrants to the Big Apple – unlike Texas which started last week.
Yuma, Arizona is one of the most popular sectors of migrants to cross through when traveling into the US. In June, 235,230 migrant encounters were recorded in the region – following only behind Texas’ Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley sectors, according to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
July’s migrant numbers have yet to be released.
“Our border communities are being used as the entryway to the United States, overwhelming law enforcement, hospitals, nonprofits and residents,” Ducey said Friday.
“It’s our responsibility to protect our citizens and law enforcement from this unprecedented crisis. 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.”
While the Biden administration has been heavily criticized for its response to the ongoing border crisis, the Department of Homeland Security announced last month that it would also be filling some gaps along the border wall in Yuma.
Specifically, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas authorized CBP to seal the openings near the Morelos Dam just west of the city.
The department said the area “presents safety and life hazard risks for migrants attempting to cross into the United States where there is a risk of drownings and injuries from falls. This area also poses a life and safety risk to first responders and agents responding to incidents in this area.”
At the start of his administration, President Biden issued an executive order to halt all border wall construction. The move has been criticized by Republicans and some Democrats for allowing individual migrants and human traffickers smuggling groups of people to cross the border more easily.