YUMA, Arizona – After many months of pushing the Biden administration to close border barrier gaps near the Morelos Dam, today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has authorized Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to move forward with closing the gaps located near the Morelos Dam in the Yuma Sector. Listening to city leaders, local law enforcement, and Border Patrol, Kelly worked to ensure DHS closed the gaps posing security challenges in Yuma.
After months of coordination and planning with the White House and DHS, Kelly’s office was able to secure a commitment from the administration to get this done. Kelly first pressed President Biden to close this and other gaps in December of 2021, and had numerous calls with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as the White House, to press them on approving the closures. Recently, in his sixth visit to the southern border, Kelly toured the site near the Morelos Dam where he also met with local leaders and law enforcement about how the gaps and border crisis were affecting their communities.
“For too long, the Morelos Dam area has been an operational challenge for Border Patrol agents to properly secure the border and keep our communities safe. I’m glad that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to Arizona and is going to close these gaps. This is a step forward and I’ll keep working to ensure that Arizona has the tools needed for a secure and orderly process at the border including fencing and barriers where they make sense,” said Senator Kelly, who led the effort to close the gaps near Morelos Dam.
“Border Patrol agents fight every single day to secure our southern border, but the gaps near the Morelos Dam continued to put that work at risk. I want to thank Senator Kelly for working with me and other community leaders by forcing action to close these gaps. This is an important first step to getting this border crisis under control, supporting our law enforcement, and keeping border communities safe,” said Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls.
“I am grateful to Senator Kelly for holding the Biden administration accountable to this commitment and finally getting this done. Our border communities want and deserve a safe and orderly border response. While there is still more work to do in order to fix the crisis at the southern border, I am confident we have a strong federal partner in Senator Kelly,” said Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines.
“We are glad that Senator Kelly delivered on his commitment to close these border gaps near the Morelos Dam. It is a welcome step that will allow us to secure our southern border and keep our community safe. Senator Kelly has consistently listened to the needs and concerns of our community and we look forward to continuing our partnership,” said District 4 Yuma County Supervisor Tony Reyes.
Earlier this year, Kelly secured more than $1 billion for border security, improved border technology, Border Patrol hiring and retention, and other border management priorities. Kelly has also introduced bipartisan legislation to increase Border Patrol agents’ overtime pay, as well as legislation to require DHS to develop a response plan to influxes at the border and provide $1 billion in contingency funds to carry out the plan.