COCHISE COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — Following President Biden's decision to halt construction of the border wall in January, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said they were left with several infrastructure issues to maintain a safe border.
"This is worse now than it was before, there was no infrastructure, but mountains," Dannels said to KGUN9 in March. "Now we have holes in our wall."
One of the other concerns Dannels had in March was that the rain would impact the incomplete wall. Now, many of those concerns are becoming a reality. Many of the construction roads that were supposed to become all-weather roads are difficult to traverse after storms.
"Whether it's up on the side of the mountain or down here in the lowlands, the border's a mess," Dannels said. "When we can't get up and down the borders, that only benefits the cartels who are exploiting everything going on in this border."
Dannels said many of those crossing into the country target the areas that they can't reach when it storms. One of the popular crossings are the open flood gates.
The gates remain incomplete, but many have become damaged by debris that comes with storms. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent this statement to KGUN9 regarding the damaged flood gates.
"Recently, the storm gates along a section of incomplete border barrier in the U.S Border Patrol’s Tucson sector were damaged during monsoon season. The design for this project includes additional features to slow/stop debris that were not completed before work was paused in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation. This project was executed by the Department of Defense and has not yet been turned over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting safety work to secure the project sites and will remove monsoon-related debris that impedes this work. Once these projects are turned over, CBP will assess any remaining make-safe/incomplete items and address in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Wall Plan."
Sheriff Dannels is looking for a long-term solution to come from lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
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