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    Senior Member Scott-in-FL's Avatar
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    Wall at Yuma

    Wall at Yuma

    By Neil W. McCabe | 9:50 AM on October 08, 2023

    Credit: Photo courtesy of Michele Pena

    An Arizona state representative told RedState she has inspected where President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s administration has quietly finished significant sections of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona, as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas confirmed new border wall construction in Texas.

    “They're pretty much done,” said Republican state Rep. Michele Pena, who represents the 23rd legislative district, "The four gaps that were needed on the south side by Morelos Dam, it's pretty much complete already. It goes all the way to where the materials were and then the gaps.

    The new construction began in January and is inside the region of the border wall designated by President Donald J. Trump in his emergency order, which diverted Pentagon funding for the border wall. This was also a sector where Biden ordered all border wall construction to stop Jan. 20, 2021, by executive order.

    Then, Biden declared:

    Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security. My administration is committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation's values.

    Pena said when she heard rumors that the new sections of the wall were completed, she called KBLU radio host Russ Clark. “Me and Russ, we got together and said: ‘Hey, let's go look. Let's go out there. Let’s check it out.”

    The two drove out on a September Saturday, she said. “We saw the gaps had been finished with new material. We went down, and we saw the old material."

    Pena said, “The originally purchased stainless steel that was there, the metal steel was just lying on the ground while new construction had been bought and finished up there."

    Clark said he was stunned at the work done with all new materials while leftover materials from the Trump era were stacked and untouched.

    “They built it; I don't know when or how long. I understand now that it was well over 10 million they spent for what I would suggest to you is less than half a mile of fixes, an outrageous amount of money,” the morning radio host said.

    “I was shocked, and it was all new and shiny because they didn't use any of the existing material,” he said. “They walked over them to put up brand-new stuff with brand new material and spent a fortune on it to put it right in line.”

    Pena said she heard the government sold off some of the Trump-era wall materials. “We all knew that they were auctioning off the materials that were out there, and I think Russ got wind that they were going to either start constructing or not.”

    Clark said the Trump wall by Yuma was nearly completed when the Trump administration ended, and what was left undone were the breaks in the barrier designed for gates and other operational facilities.

    Pena: Trump secured the border, Biden opened it up again

    The state representative said she grew up in Yuma County, but the border was not always the crisis it is now.

    “Growing up, it was normal for us to go back and forth and cross,” she said.

    “My mother is from Mexico; she had family in San Luis, Arizona, which we are a border town here in Yuma, San Luis, Arizona is part of, is connected to San Luis, Mexico,” she said.

    “We would cross all the time, so I didn't really know of the dangers. It was so common for us to go back and forth as we grew up,” Pena said.

    When President Barack Obama was in office, Pena said the border was left open. "In the Obama years, you saw an uptick in the illegal immigration. You saw the deportations. But now it is dangerous.”

    Then, the border became secure under Trump, she said.

    “When we saw massive caravans were coming, and you saw the protections and the policies that he put in place where they couldn't get across unless they came in through the port of entry, through the legal immigration,” she said.

    Pena, who was elected to the Arizona legislature in 2022, said the rush to the border resumed as soon as Biden came into office.

    “I’m a mom. I was busy working, making sure my daughter went to school. I kept busy and her activities to keep her busy, but I started getting involved,” she said.

    “We started hearing more of the crossings and the illicit drugs that were coming across more than the people, so the drug part you heard they were stopping up already,” he said.

    “Pressure from the farmers had been going on for years, and they had effectively side-stepped it and ignored it and effectively said: ‘Well, we're going to do it. We're going to do it,’ but nothing ever happens,” Clark said.

    “The farmers were putting immense pressure on for a long time, but I didn't see where that mattered to them,” he said. “There was a question in my mind on whether it would ever be done.”

    Clark said the sections with new barrier construction were where there was significant population and agriculture but stopped by the Barry Goldwater Range training facility.

    “The sections were the ones that are around the population, which includes the agricultural areas and the population of the city of San Luis, and there were four of those, and those were the ones that were all completed,” he said.

    “When you start hitting east, which is part of the bombing range and all, they did not complete any of that.”

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