AZ Gov Defies Biden and Presses Forward, Filling in More Border Wall Gaps

Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey did not heed the Biden administration’s demand to remove the shipping containers the state is using to fill in U.S.-Mexico border wall gaps. In fact, the state began filling in more gaps this week.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order ending construction on the wall the Trump administration was building on the nation’s southern border, leaving many gaps.

Last week, Ducey’s office said the governor did not plan to immediately comply with the Biden administration’s demand to remove shipping containers the state placed on federal and tribal lands to fill some of those gaps in the Yuma Sector, near the Arizona-California state line.

Rather than comply, Ducey filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and other federal officials last Friday.

“Our border communities are overwhelmed by illegal activity as a result of the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border,” Ducey said in a news release.

“Arizona is taking action to protest on behalf of our citizens. With this lawsuit, we’re pushing back against efforts by federal bureaucrats to reverse the progress we’ve made,” he continued.

“The safety and security of Arizona and its citizens must not be ignored. Arizona is going to do the job that Joe Biden refuses to do — secure the border in any way we can. We’re not backing down.”

Additionally, Ducey directed this week what he is calling the “Border Barrier Mission” to continue in the southeast corner of the state in Cochise County.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he tweeted Thursday.

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls, a Republican, expressed his gratitude for the work the governor is doing to fill in border wall gaps.

He told Fox News host Dana Perino Friday that between 5,000 and 6,000 migrants a week are illegally crossing the border into the Yuma Sector. Additionally, the border patrol is seizing record quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine.

“Working with the governor’s office, we were able to identify some of the higher-trafficked areas,” Nicholls said.

The mayor explained that filling in key gaps shifts the traffic and makes the border more manageable.

“It doesn’t stop the traffic, but it shifts it to areas that are a little bit easier to focus more of that activity, so it’s more easy to address with law enforcement and border patrol,” Nicholls said.

He noted that the Biden administration, in a letter to Ducey earlier this month, accused the state of Arizona of trespassing on federal and tribal land by placing the shipping containers at the border.

“Well, my contention is that 300,000 people that have come through this year alone, they’ve been trespassing,” Nicholls said. “I don’t remember seeing a letter going out to anybody to try to stop any of that.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that 310,094 migrants were apprehended illegally crossing into the U.S. in the Yuma sector from fiscal year 2022, which was a 171-percent increase compared with the same period in fiscal 2021.

The Tucson Border Sector, which includes Chochise County, saw 251,984 border apprehensions, which was about 32 percent higher than the previous year.

A record nearly 2.4 million people were apprehended in FY 2022 on the southwest border, on top of approximately 1.7 million the previous year.

By way of comparison, during former President Donald Trump’s final two years in office, approximately 977,000 were apprehended in FY 2019 and 458,000 in FY 2020.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.