Photo: Arizona looking for donations to build additional border fencing.
Arizona officials are looking for donations to build additional fencing along its border with Mexico, despite the federal government’s opinion that more is unnecessary.
The state’s plan includes online donations and prison labor, and if enough money is raised, they only need land owners’ cooperation to begin construction. It is estimated that the project could start as early as this year.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has already signed a bill that begins the process, which begins with launching the website on which money can be donated.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Steve Smith (R- Maricopa), said, “We’re going to build this site as fast as we can, and promote it, and market the heck out of it.”
It should be noted that Arizona is already hurting as far as funds are concerned, and in fact, public donations are already being used to pay for the state’s legal defense as it fights for the controversial immigration law known as SB 1070.
Along the nearly, 2,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico, about 650 miles are fenced, with nearly half of that in Arizona. The state shares a 376-mile with Mexico, and it is one of the most frequently used sections amongst immigrants and smugglers.
“My constituents want this thing fixed, and fixed once and for all, and we’re going to do it,” Republican Sen. Al Melvin of Tucson said back in February. “People should not be dying in the desert.”
In opposition to the recently signed bill is Rep. Catherine Miranda (D-Phoenix) who questions the feasibility of the construction and joins others in claiming it is simply a distraction for those unwilling to legitimately discuss true immigration reform or other related issues.
“If we are here to pass symbolic legislation and not really address border security, SB1406 does the job. But people don’t benefit from symbolic legislation,” Miranda said.