Arizona border fence plan stalled after 3 years - New York News

Arizona border fence plan stalled after 3 years

Posted: Updated:

By BOB CHRISTIE
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) -- A plan by Republican Arizona lawmakers to build a mile of fencing along the border with Mexico using private money has stalled nearly three years after it was sanctioned by the Legislature.

Private donations expected to fund the project dried up after only a fraction of the funding was in hand, leaving the project far short of its lofty goals.

Lawmakers on a border security committee that met Wednesday acknowledged the state has received just $264,000 for the project, well short of the $2.8 million needed to build the first mile of fencing.

The plan championed by Rep. Steve Smith originally called for collecting as much as $50 million to build a 15-foot fence at busy, yet-to-be-determined border-crossing points then erecting fences along miles of the state's 375-mile border that have no federal fences.

The effort began during the height of Arizona's battle against illegal immigration, before a backlash that left former state Senate President Russell Pearce out of a job after a recall and the GOP-led Legislature with no more appetite for measures targeting immigration.

The Arizona Legislature's border security advisory committee, which includes lawmakers, sheriff's and state department heads, took no action Wednesday on a new spending plan. It also put off until next month a discussion on how to allocate what money it has.

Donations dried up less than six months after the state launched a website in 2011 to collect money for the project. In December of that year, the state had more than $250,000, but the tally remained at just over $264,000 on Wednesday.

Smith, R-Maricopa, said he still hopes to use the cash as seed money for some type of enhanced border security - a fence or some other measure he declined to detail.

"I think all options are on the table," Smith said. "I think people would be really surprised what we can do with a little bit of funds."

The committee co-chair, Rep. David Stevens, said Smith is considering asking the committee to distribute money to sheriffs with jurisdictions along the border.

"He wants to put it to use on the border, because it's not enough to build a fence," Stevens said Tuesday evening. Smith would not confirm that on Wednesday.

The Legislature created the committee in 2011 and tasked it with making recommendations to the governor about how to handle the border. The fence project was one of its key goals.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

    Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:24:06 GMT
    More than 2,000 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut.  The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
    More than 2,000 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut.  The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
  • Fire at Carlstadt Post Office

    Fire at Carlstadt Post Office

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:50:47 GMT
    An overnight fire caused significant damage to a Carlstadt, N.J. post office.  It happened around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday at 331 1st Street.
    An overnight fire caused significant damage to a Carlstadt, N.J. post office.  It happened around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday at 331 1st Street.
  • Deli clerk burned in Molotov Cocktail attack

    Deli clerk burned in Molotov Cocktail attack

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:10:53 GMT
    A store clerk inside of a Brooklyn mini-mart was set ablaze when an enraged sicko threw a Molotov Cocktail into the store.  It happened just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday at the store on Fort Hamilton Parkway.The 34-year-old store clerk had his hair and coat catch fire in the attack.
    A store clerk inside of a Brooklyn mini-mart was set ablaze when an enraged sicko threw a Molotov Cocktail into the store.  It happened just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday at the store on Fort Hamilton Parkway.The 34-year-old store clerk had his hair and coat catch fire in the attack.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices