Biden to Now Build Portion of Trump's Wall in Arizona A welded plaque with the name of former President Donald J. Trump commemorates the construction of 100 miles of new wall along the border between the US and Mexico in Yuma, Arizona. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 28 July 2022 03:59 PM EDT
Illegal immigration in Arizona has apparently become so bad even a vulnerable midterm Democrat senator had to urge the Biden administration to pick up building a portion of former President Donald Trump's border wall.
And, "after many months of pushing," President Joe Biden's Department of Homeland Security has agreed to do it, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., announced Thursday. Just in time before Tuesday's primary elections in Arizona.
The portion of the wall to be bolstered lies between Trump border wall projects in Yuma, where Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been overwhelmed by illegal border crossings.
"For too long, the Morelos Dam area has been an operational challenge for Border Patrol agents to properly secure the border and keep our communities safe," Kelly wrote in a statement. "I'm glad that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to Arizona and is going to close these gaps. This is a step forward, and I'll keep working to ensure that Arizona has the tools needed for a secure and orderly process at the border including fencing and barriers where they make sense."
The timing of the announcement is conspicuous. Kelly is facing a tough November midterm election against a group of America First Republicans vying in Tuesday's GOP senatorial primary to face him, including Jim Lamon, Blake Masters, and Gen. Mick McGuire.
All three candidates were strong on the border, crime, and the goal of defeating Kelly in the November general election.
"We must get back to removal of the criminal gangs, all of the illegal activity, the cartels, everything that the left, including Mark Kelly, aided and abetted by their actions, and your Senate, to allow this continue to happen," Lamon said at July GOP Senate primary debate hosted by Newsmax.
Biden had halted all border wall construction in January 2021, leaving 350 miles of wall already funded unfinished. In the past 10 months, CBP has apprehended at least 20,000 illegal border crossers each month and more than 30,000 in some months, the Washington Examiner reported.
The award of the construction contract will be made in September, a Kelly aide told the Examiner.
Trump delivered a Save America rally speech in Arizona this past Friday. Lamon is endorsed by National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.