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Humanitarian volunteer speaks as US Senator Mark Kelly tours Yuma border

An Arizona volunteer tells his side about closing the barrier gaps along the wall - CBS 13 On Your Side's Vanessa Gongora reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - U.S. Senator Mark Kelly visited Yuma Wednesday to meet with border patrol and talk about their operational challenges with the barrier gaps along the wall, some of which he recently announced would be closed.

Right in front of the Morelos Dam is one of the many gaps along the wall they are planning to close.

According to Kelly, construction can begin as soon as the end of September after contracts are decided.

Kelly says the gaps along the border wall have been an issue for border patrol.

He spoke with agents about what they need to effectively do their job.

"You know, with the number of migrants and the processing of asylum seekers as they come across the border," Kelly says.

He says the gaps in the wall are a huge safety issue, which is why he has continued to push the Biden Administration to close them.

"We need a safe process that treats migrants fairly," says Kelly.

Kelly says comprehensive immigration reform is something our country needs.

"The best approach to seeking asylum is to go to a port of entry," says Kelly. "That's where we're going to see the process work the best."

According to Kelly, we should know how much this project will cost in less than one month.

One Arizona Humanitarian Coalition volunteer, Fernando Quiroz, says Kelly's approach is just a band-aid for the real problem.

"These are individuals who are willing to go walk in through a port of entry, turn themselves in and be processed in a humanitarian way" says Quiroz. "These resources, the money we're spending on this wall, that's where it should be going."

He says migrants wait up to ten hours to be processed and hopes things can be turned around.

"We are a better country than we are currently doing in how we're serving these individuals," Quiroz says.

Senator Mark Kelly says many individuals seek asylum here, but going through the desert isn't safe for anyone. He wants to make sure crossing the border is safe for migrants as well as law enforcement.

Article Topic Follows: Border Security
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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA News 11 team in 2021.

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