Biden’s AZ border wall movement could be “to help one of your own” win re-election, border official says

Biden’s AZ border wall movement could be “to help one of your own” win re-election, border official says

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The timing of the Biden administration’s announcement of completing open segments of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona, could be “to help one of your own,” National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd said as Sen. Mark Kelly, ( D-AZ) faces a tough re-election campaign amid GOP criticism of border security and immigration.

Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas announced Thursday that he had approved construction to fill several gaps in the border wall in the Yuma sector, which have become high-traffic spots for cross-border workers. Mayorkas said the gaps posed a security risk for migrants due to its proximity to the Morelos Dam.

Kelly has been campaigning for approval to fill those gaps for months, and celebrated the announcement in a statement Thursday, in which he credited finally having “received an administrative commitment to do this,” according to his office .

However, actual construction could take months. Kelly told News 11 Yuma in an interview Thursday that he expects the first contract to close in September, with the construction plan yet to be finalized. And the DHS announcement that “DHS will participate in standard environmental planning prior to construction and will reach out and consult with stakeholders” while moving “as soon as possible.”

BIDEN ADMIN CALMLY APPROVES CONSTRUCTION OF US-MEXICO BORDER WALL NEAR YUMA, ARIZONA

Sen. Mark Kelly hears from a CBP officer in Douglas, Arizona.

Sen. Mark Kelly hears from a CBP officer in Douglas, Arizona.
(Office of Senator Mark Kelly)

The timing of the DHS announcement comes just three months before Kelly faces a challenging re-election in Arizona, where the GOP hopes to win a Senate seat.

Judd told Fox News Digital that he wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was politically motivated, calling the announcement “nothing but smoke and mirrors.”

“The government knows that border security is one of the biggest issues in Arizona, so an announcement like this makes sense, especially at this time, to try to help one of theirs. But if people do the right research, they’ll find that filling in the gaps with the current situation in that particular area doesn’t help improve border security,” Judd said.

DHS did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on whether additional segments of the border wall would be completed. President Biden made it clear during his 2020 presidential campaign that his administration would not build “another foot” of wall along the US-Mexico border. The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Fox News’ Peter Doocy Friday that the Biden administration is “not completing a wall, we’re cleaning up the mess that the previous administration has done .”

WHITE HOUSE HOLDS DOWN DECISION TO FILL BORDER GAPS, CLAIMS THAT BIDEN ADMIN “CLEANS UP” TRUMP’S “MESS”

A spokesman for Kelly’s campaign told Fox News that “Senator Kelly’s work is not dictated by political statements but is kept fully informed by the representation of Arizona interests, which is why he has been calling since 2019 to fill gaps in the border where they are.” make sense.”

A Border Patrol agent walks through a gap along the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Yuma, Arizona, June 1, 2022.

A Border Patrol agent walks through a gap along the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Yuma, Arizona, June 1, 2022.
(PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

The spokesman noted that the Mayor of Yuma commended Kelly for the border wall’s action and reiterated years of efforts to address concerns from border communities. “Senator Kelly also knows that more needs to be done to make the Southern Border safe, orderly and humane, which is why, in addition to making this announcement, Kelly also helped secure $1 billion in resources for CBP,” the spokesman added .

Just last week, the Republican National Committee used the unfinished sections of the Yuma border wall to attack Kelly in a press release, calling the gaps in the border wall “one of many betrayals” by the first-term senator.

“Mark Kelly doesn’t care about the border — he’s endorsed Biden’s open borders agenda at every step. Arizonans will vote him out in November,” RNC spokesman Will O’Grady told Fox News Digital on Friday.

Closing the Yuma border wall gaps is only part of the problem the region is facing, Judd told Fox News: “The current problem, especially in Yuma, cannot be solved by infrastructure, it can only be solved by legislation or policy.” will.”

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While walls are helpful tools for arresting people and confiscating contraband, “walls don’t deal with asylum, which is the current problem in this particular area of ​​Yuma,” Judd said, as cartels use asylum seekers.

“While I’m glad the gaps are being filled, completion will help as individuals try to get away. But because everyone knows that the policy of this government is that you don’t have to try to get away, you can give up and still achieve your goal of making it to the US by applying for asylum and getting released, filling the entails Gaps are no relief, and we can expect large groups of people on the south side of the wall waiting to be taken into custody, continuing to deplete the Border Patrol’s resources while the cartels cross-breed their higher-value products in the areas out where they could get the resources,” Judd said.

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