Can You Spare A Buck For A Border Fence?
July 20, 2011

Arizona Republican state Senator Steve Smith will launch a website Wednesday that takes donations to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill passed by the state legislature that allows for the site to go online became law Wednesday.

The federal government currently maintains 306 miles of fencing along Arizona's roughly 370-mile long border with Mexico. Smith's plan is to raise millions of dollars through private donations for a fence that he said will be more secure. But like he told constituents at a meeting last week, it's still unclear exactly where the fence would go.

Photo courtesy Arizona State Legislature.
Arizona State Senator Steve Smith (R-Maricopa).

"The ideal place to build the fence is where part of the fence already exists which is on the federal easement, there's a 60 foot easement that runs almost in a straight line down the border," Smith said. "That's where I'd like to build it. I have a sneaky suspicion that we're not going to get permission from said federal government to go there."

This leaves state, private, or reservation land – all of which is subject to environmental constraints and varying stakeholder support.

Smith, from the City of Maricopa, will announce the name of the site Wednesday night at a fundraiser in Casa Grande in front of paying constituents and supporter, Senate President Russell Pearce, best known for sponsoring Arizona's signature immigration legislation, SB 1070.