The Biden administration has approved the construction of additional portions of the wall at the border between the United States and Mexico. The decision is in stark contrast to promises the president made during the 2020 presidential campaign.
The project will focus on gaps in the wall near Yuma, AZ. The four openings in the wall in southern Arizona are one of the busiest border crossings for migrants.
The Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of the project, said the openings pose a safety risk.
“Due to the proximity to the Morelos Dam and the swift moving Colorado River, this area presents safety and life hazard risks for migrants attempting to cross into the United States where there is a risk of drownings and injuries from falls,” the agency said in a statement. “This area also poses a life and safety risk to first responders and agents responding to incidents in this area.”
Securing the border wall was a key tenet of former President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said he would not continue construction on the southern border.
Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., has been calling for closing these holes. Kelly even wrote a letter to the president asking him to close the gaps.
“It doesn’t make sense to have miles of border wall in one direction and miles in another direction and a 60 foot gap, or in some cases even bigger than that.” Kelly told News 11 Yuma on Thursday. “There’s four and I’ve seen them all. This is an operational challenge for border patrol. “
Funding for construction will come directly from the DHS budget.