The Department of Homeland Security has closed four openings in the border wall near Yuma, Arizona, which had turned into a key migrant route, as the White House continues to build more parts of the wall.
Customs and Border Protection has been given permission by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to close the openings west of Yuma’s city at the Morelos Dam.
The location, where there is a possibility of drownings and injuries from falls, presents safety and life hazard hazards for migrants seeking to cross into the United States, according to the agency. First responders and officers who are dispatched to occurrences in this area face a risk to their lives and safety.
The dam is located in a region of the border that travels along the Colorado River from north to south before turning on an east-west axis at the state line between California and Arizona.
Since October 1 of last year, border agents have recorded 235,230 interactions with migrants in the Yuma Sector of the Border Patrol. Only the Rio Grande Valley (377,194) and Del Rio (326,177) sectors have recorded more interactions within the same time period.
Soon after taking office in January 2021, President Biden issued an order to stop building the border wall. While critics, including some of Biden’s fellow Democrats, applauded the decision, it also exposed gaps in the barrier that some claim have been exploited by both individual migrants and human traffickers moving groups of people across the border.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, reiterated several times on Friday that the Biden administration is not completing the border wall that Trump proclaimed a national emergency to fund in 2019 before later receiving congressional funding for the project.