YUMA, Ariz. (Border Report) — Work continued Wednesday to install shipping containers along some unfinished portions of the border wall in southwest Arizona.
The 9-by-40-foot empty containers are being double-stacked and will reach a height of about 22 feet. Razor wire will be added on top.
The panels for the barrier put in by the Trump administration are 30 feet high.
Installation began last week when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order directing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to immediately fill the gaps in the Yuma border wall with the containers.
“Arizona has had enough,” said Governor Ducey. “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 shipping container project is going to cost taxpayers $6 million.
According to Ducey’s office, the money will come from the Arizona Border Security Fund.
“We continue to have a significant amount of drug trafficking and human trafficking across the border,” said Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines. “We’ve been working with the administration of Sen. (Mark) Kelly, (DHS) Secretary (Alejandro) Mayorkas’ office asking them to seal the gap, close it.”
Lines agrees the containers are needed, but understands it’s not the entire solution.
“The people of Arizona are demanding it, the people of this nation are demanding it,” said Lines.
Lines insists sealing the gaps will cut down on the number of drugs and migrants coming into the U.S.
“It’s not just what we’re seeing here, it’s the drugs and bad actors who are coming across the border, we need to give Border Patrol the tools so they can continue to secure the border and provide national security to our country.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures, the Yuma sector has seen more than 235,000 encounters from October of last year through July 2022.
A woman who did not want to be identified but works with migrants in the area said the containers were “a waste of money.”
And she added the containers aren’t going to fill every gap in the border barrier saying migrants are still going to have areas where they can easily walk into the United States.
Ducey’s plan only covers 2,400 feet of border barrier, a small fraction of actual gaps in the fencing.
Border Report reached out to Ducey’s office about this claim, but his communications team did not respond to emails. Repeated attempts to leave messages when we called were not successful as the office’s “voice mailbox was full.”
Border Report also tried to reach the Department of Homeland Security to inquire about the container project since it’s happening on federal land and without authorization. We have yet to hear back.