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Another Trump promise is kept… Building the wall, and he should build it. Keeping illegals out is a big priority in this country.
AP Top News
450 miles of border wall by next year? In Arizona, it starts
By ASTRID GALVAN
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Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 in Yuma, Ariz. The 30-foot high wall replaces a five-mile section of Normandy barrier and post-n-beam fencing, shown at left, along the the International border that separates Mexico and the United States. Construction began as federal officials revealed a list of Defense Department projects to be cut to pay for President Donald Trump’s wall. (AP Photo/Matt York)
YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — On a dirt road past rows of date trees, just feet from a dry section of Colorado River, a small construction crew is putting up a towering border wall that the government hopes will reduce — for good — the flow of immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
Cicadas buzz and heavy equipment rumbles and beeps before it lowers 30-foot-tall (9-meters-tall) sections of fence into the dirt. “Ahí está!” — “There it is!” — a Spanish-speaking member of the crew says as the men straighten the sections into the ground. Nearby, workers pull dates from palm trees, not far from the cotton fields that cars pass on the drive to the border.
South of Yuma, Arizona, the tall brown bollards rising against a cloudless desert sky will replace much shorter barriers that are meant to keep out cars, but not people.
This 5-mile (8-kilometer) section of fencing is where President Donald Trump’s most salient campaign promise — to build a wall along the entire southern border — is taking shape.
The president and his administration said this week that they plan on building between 450 and 500 miles (724 and 806 kilometers) of fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile (3,218-kilometer) border by the end of 2020, an ambitious undertaking funded by billions of defense dollars that had been earmarked for things like military base schools, target ranges and maintenance facilities.
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Two other Pentagon-funded construction projects in New Mexico and Arizona are underway, but some are skeptical that so many miles of wall can be built in such a short amount of time. The government is up against last-minute construction hiccups, funding issues and legal challenges from environmentalists and property owners whose land sits on the border.
The Trump administration says the wall — along with more surveillance technology, agents and lighting — is key to keeping out people who cross illegally.
Critics say a wall is useless when most of those apprehended turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents in the hope they can be eventually released while their cases play out in immigration court.
In Yuma, the defense-funded section of tall fencing is replacing shorter barriers that U.S. officials say are less efficient.
A government contractor, surrounded by existing Normandy barriers that separate Mexico and the United States, pours a concrete footer in preparation for a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 in Yuma, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
It comes amid a steep increase since last year in the number of migrant families who cross the border illegally in the Yuma area, often turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents. Many are fleeing extreme poverty and violence, and some are seeking asylum.
Robert Massimi NJ
Robert Massimi NY