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Shipping containers added to border near Yuma as migrant aid group voices opposition

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Shipping containers topped with razor wire have been placed to fill in gaps along the border fence near Yuma as seen here on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.

More shipping containers are going up to fill gaps at the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma this week.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday crews started building another border barrier in an open section of fencing near the Morelos Dam.

Ducey tweeted “Arizonans can’t wait for Washington to act – we’re going to close the gaps in the border wall NOW.”

Today he added that the border barrier mission moves to fill the fifth gap in the Yuma border wall, about 1,200 feet near the Dam.

Meanwhile, the Arizona California Humanitarian Coalition released a statement Tuesday evening, saying it opposes the construction.

Representatives from the group call it “a waste of money” and say the taxpayer money could pay for education or health care instead.

They also say they need access to the land to reach those in need as one volunteer reported not being able to leave water and food at one of their sites.

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Victor Calderón/KAWC
Fernando Quiroz of the Arizona-California Humanitarian Coalition shows water bottles and bananas the group takes to migrants along the border from Yuma to San Luis, Ariz.

Ducey has said the containers are secure, however, Univision reporter Claudia Ramos of Phoenix tweeted a photo of some containers overturned at the border gap near Gadsden earlier this week.

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Some shipping containers at the border near Gadsden, Ariz. were overturned earlier this week following heavy winds in the area.


The full AZCAHC statement is as follows: "AZ-CA Humanitarian Coalition opposes the Executive Order directing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to fill the gaps at the Yuma border. This political move by Governor Doug Ducey is a waste of money. The taxpayer funds for this project could be going to address education or health care, instead millions of dollars are being spent on shipping containers at the border. As a humanitarian aid organization, it is important that we have access to the land to reach those in need. New border walls through protected public lands, communities and sovereign tribal nations is not the solution to the inhumane practices that migrants face going through treacherous terrain, a humane reception is."

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Victor Calderón/KAWC
Arizona-California Humanitarian Coalition volunteer Nathalie Hernandez Barahona passes bananas to migrant Wilmer Isaac Avila of Honduras through the border fence west of San Luis, Ariz. She said the group has the permission of Border Patrol agents to take water and snacks to migrants.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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