Border Patrol says it has apprehended more than twice as many migrant children since January 1st in the Yuma sector than during the same period in 2019, with most coming from Central America.
As Arizona coronavirus cases soar, the state’s extensive border wall system was irrelevant to stopping its spread.
Border fence in the Yuma Sector.
“This week, construction personnel are permanently closing a glaring gap in infrastructure near San Luis, AZ that has been exploited by smugglers for as long as it has existed. It is now more secure than ever!”
- The Center for Biological Diversity releases footage of border wall construction destroying parts of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Tinajas Altas Mountains near Yuma, Arizona. The remote area, next to Mexico’s El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, is not a major crossing point for smugglers or migrants but is home to the core population of Sonoran pronghorn, kit foxes, golden eagles, and other endangered species.
- Mayors of both Nogales and Yuma in Arizona announce that their border communities are “finally rebounding” after last summer’s influx of asylum seekers, as commerce flows smoothly through the ports of entry during the height of the produce season this year. While the mayors say the border region is now “stabilized” due to the administration’s policies, it dismisses the ways Mexican border communities have struggled under the Remain in Mexico policy.
- U.S. Senator Krysten Sinema criticizes the Trump administration’s plans to divert $3.8 billion from defense programs, stating it jeopardizes “the safety and security of Arizona service members and Arizona jobs.” The cuts include $156 billion for the F-35 program, including aircraft housed at the Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix and the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma. $1.3 billion will also be cut from the National Guard and Reserve Equipment budget, which primarily funds the 162nd Test Center in Tucson.
- The Washington Post reports that President Trump’s border wall will most likely require the installation of storm gates to prevent flash floods during the monsoon season in Arizona. Migrants and smugglers have taken advantage of these open, unmanned gates in the past in remote regions of the border.
- Chad Wolf, acting secretary of Homeland Security, travels to Yuma, Arizona, to announce the Trump administration’s completion of 100 miles of new barriers along the border with Mexico. Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan notes the administration’s goal of 450 miles by the end of 2020 is likely out of range. Nearly all of the 100 miles completed by the administration are labeled by CBP as “replacement barriers,” though the White House requests the agency stop using the term.
- Arizona House Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R) proposes House Bill 2084, which would allow private property owners along the border to build walls without safety inspections or compliance with local building codes. To date, no Arizona county or city has sought to block a landowner from building a wall on their property. Tom Belshe, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, says Peterson’s proposal is under review, but in general, “cities oppose any efforts by lawmakers to preempt local control.”