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Arizona's governor is using shipping containers to fill gaps in border wall near Yuma

Gov. Doug Ducey issued the executive order directing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to immediately start work on the wall.

YUMA, Ariz. — Arizona's governor on Friday announced plans to add 60 double-stacked shipping containers, reinforced with wire, "to immediately fill the gaps in the Yuma border wall."

Gov. Doug Ducey issued the executive order directing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to immediately start work on the wall.

A release from Ducey's office says the shipping containers will reach about 22 feet high and the state-owned, 8,800-pound, 9-by-40-feet containers will be linked together and welded shut. The panels of the border wall constructed during the Trump administration are 30 feet high.

The cost for constructing the initial 1,000-foot barrier will be $6 million.

The construction of the barrier on federal land represents an affront to the White House in an ongoing political battle over border security. Representatives of the Ducey administration acknowledged they did not officially notify the federal government of the decision.

“Our hope is they will be paying attention to the news today,” said CJ Karamargin, spokesperson for Ducey.

Asked what happens if the federal government begins constructing its own planned barrier in the coming months, Karamargin said the containers “will remain as long as they need to be there.”

12 News has requested a response from the White House.

RELATED: Biden administration announces plan to close gaps in border wall near Yuma

Arizona Director of Homeland Security Tim Roemer said closing key gaps on the border will allow federal border security officials to concentrate resources in other areas. He also believes the move will help funnel asylum seekers to ports of entry.

Just two days ago, Sen. Mark Kelly (D) met with the U.S. Border Patrol to discuss plans to finish closing gaps in the Yuma sector. Kelly told KAWC the Department of Homeland Security would begin securing contractors within a couple weeks to finish the Morelos Dam project.

“Closing these gaps will allow Border Patrol to work more efficiently to better protect Arizonans and keep our borders secure,” Kelly tweeted on Wednesday.

Construction began Friday morning on the gap in the border wall, Ducey said. 

Emergency management contractor Ashbritt is constructing the barriers. The 25-person team includes heavy equipment operators, operation supervisors and a safety manager. The project will be completed over the weekend.

“Our border communities are being used as the entryway to the United States, overwhelming law enforcement, hospitals, nonprofits and residents,” Ducey said in a release. “It’s our responsibility to protect our citizens and law enforcement from this unprecedented crisis. With the resources and manpower in the right places, our Border Patrol and law enforcement will be better equipped to do their jobs well and prevent cartels from exploiting our communities. That’s exactly what our barrier mission will do."

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