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The timing of the Biden administration’s announcement to complete open segments of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona, is “a help to one of them,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, as Sen. Mark Kelly, (D-AZ), comes in a tough election amid criticism from the GOP on border security and immigration. Faces the struggle.

Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas announced Thursday the approval of construction to close several gaps in the border wall in the Yuma sector, which have become high-traffic spots for border-crossers. Mayorkas said the gaps are a security risk for migrants because of Morelos’ proximity to the dam.

Kelly has been advocating for approval to close those gaps for months and celebrated the announcement in a statement Thursday, taking credit for finally “getting a commitment from the administration to get it done,” according to his office.

But the actual construction may take months. Kelly told News 11 Yuma in one The interview is on Thursday He expects the first contract to be finalized in September, with the construction schedule still to be finalized. And the DHS statement said “Prior to construction, DHS will participate in standardized environmental planning and conduct stakeholder outreach and consultation,” but will move “as expeditiously as possible.”

The Biden administration quietly approved the construction of a US-Mexico border wall near Yuma, Arizona

From a CBP officer in Douglas, Arizona, Sen.  Mark Kelly listens.

From a CBP officer in Douglas, Arizona, Sen. Mark Kelly listens.
(Office of Sen. Mark Kelly)

The timing of the DHS announcement comes just three months before Kelly faces a challenging re-election in Arizona, where the GOP hopes to pick up a seat in the Senate.

Judd told Fox News Digital that he wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was politically motivated and that the announcement was “nothing but smoke and mirrors.”

“The administration knows that border security is one of the biggest issues in Arizona, so an announcement like this makes sense at this time especially to try to help someone on their own. But if people do the right research they can fill it in. Gaps with current conditions in a particular area are not going to help improve border security,” Judd said.

DHS did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on whether any other sections of the border wall are ready to be completed. President Biden made it clear during the 2020 presidential campaign that “another step” of wall along the US-Mexico border would not be built under his administration. The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Fox News’ Peter Ducey on Friday that the Biden administration “isn’t finishing the wall, we’re cleaning up the mess that the previous administration made . . .”

White House downplays decision to fill border wall gaps, claims Biden admin ‘cleaning up’ Trump ‘mess’

A spokesperson for Kelly’s campaign told Fox News, “Senator Kelly’s work is not driven by political statements and instead is fully informed by representing Arizona’s interests, which is why he calls for closing the gap at the border starting in 2019.”

A Border Patrol agent walks along the border wall between the US and Mexico on June 1, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona.

A Border Patrol agent walks along the border wall between the US and Mexico on June 1, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona.
(Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

The spokesperson pointed out that Yuma praised Mayor Kelly for the border wall action and reiterated years of efforts to address the concerns of border communities. “Senator Kelly knows more needs to be done to make the southern border secure, orderly and humane, so with this announcement, Kelly also helped secure $1 billion in resources for CBP,” the spokesperson said.

Last week, the Republican National Committee used the unfinished Yuma border wall sections against Kelly in a press release, calling the border wall gaps “one of many betrayals” from the first-term senator.

“Mark Kelly doesn’t care about the border — he rubber-stamps Biden’s open border agenda every step of the way. Arizonans will vote for him in November,” RNC spokesman Will O’Grady told Fox News Digital Friday.

Closing gaps in the Yuma border wall is only part of the problem facing the region, Judd told Fox News: “The current problem, especially in Yuma, is not something that can be solved by infrastructure, it can only be solved by legislation or policy.”

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While the walls are helpful tools in apprehending people and seizing contraband, Judd said the walls “don’t provide shelter, which is a current problem in that particular area of ​​Yuma,” because cartels use refugees.

“So I’m happy that the gaps are being filled, filling helps when people are trying to get away. But everyone knows that this administration’s policies don’t mean you have to try to escape, you can give instead. Accomplish your goal of getting into the US by seeking asylum and being released, filling the gaps is not relief. “And we can see large groups of people waiting on the south side of the wall in custody, so the Border Patrol continues to deplete resources while the cartels move their high-value products into areas where they can get resources,” Judd said.