The Republican-led Arizona State Senate voted voted 16-12 on Wednesday to allocate $700 million on building a border wall along its southern border with Mexico.
The bill, which passed along party lines, would use state funds to construct a portion of a border barrier aimed at curbing illegal border crossings. The vote to allocate funds, however, leaves the final amount of money spent undetermined.
On Thursday, the Arizona House voted on an identical bill that proposes only $150 million for a border wall. Governor Ducey pressed the importance of border security when he spoke with reporters this week, saying, “I do think Arizona is going to do everything it can in its power. I don’t think any other state in the nation is doing more.”
Under former President Donald Trump, about 450 miles of border barrier was erected, including 226 miles in Arizona, much of which replaced existing barricades and fencing. Of Trump’s plan, which did not cover the entire 372-mile border with Mexico, about 18 miles remain uncompleted.
Since then, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has determined it will do some additional work, including completing drainage projects to prevent flooding, disposing of materials not required to complete work, and closing “small gaps that remain open from prior construction activities and remediating incomplete gates.”
Ducey said the state is giving money to communities to enhance law enforcement and prosecution of people who are in the country without legal status and violate other state laws. The state has deployed about 200 Guard soldiers to the border in support roles such as monitoring surveillance cameras, analyzing data and providing administrative support to local law enforcement [Tuscon Daily Star].
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DAILY ADVENT
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