“It’s always an honor to have the president in Arizona and down to Yuma again. It’s a very important community for the state of Arizona and there’s key issues here in Yuma: border security, border infrastructure, agriculture, industry and opportunities to continue to grow,” McSally told the Yuma Sun.
“It’s great to see that he realized how important Arizona is for border security and how important Yuma is and really what a great example Yuma is,” she added.
The Republican senator noted that the first border barrier installed many years ago was never completed and left room for illegal activity around, over and under it. As part of his campaign, the president pledged to secure the border with a stronger wall. Under his administration, about 300 miles of the old barrier have been replaced and a few miles of new wall have been built.
“Now that we are putting in that border wall system and giving the Border Patrol agents what they need, the access roads, the technology, it’s really making their job much more effective to be able to stop the illegal flow of drug trafficking and other illegal trafficking,” McSally said.
“I talk about it as really a model of how using intelligence in certain operations and the border wall system and giving the agents what they need, how it really makes a difference in securing the border. But we’ve got to fill in the gaps. There are still places that need the border system built, and they’re on track now to close up to 450 miles by the end of the year.”
McSally said she has been “absolutely honored” to represent Yuma the last year and a half. Gov. Doug Ducey appointed her to the U.S. Senate following the death of John McCain and the resignation of interim senator Jon Kyl. She’s now campaigning to retain her seat in November’s general election.
“I know it’s been a difficult year for so many people (with) concerns about health and the virus and the impact on the economy and the challenges of the cross-border traffic being limited, but we’re going to get through this. And the choice before us is very important, when people think about who do you trust to get the economy going again, who do you trust to keep your community safe and your family safe,” McSally said.
She explained why she feels she deserves to stay on as Yuma’s representative in the U.S. Senate. “Since I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve delivered $152 million for the San Luis Port of Entry. This is a big deal for the legal cross-border commerce that is so critical for this community and agriculture workers that go back and forth and to minimize that time and catch the illegal drugs that come through the ports of entry,” she noted.
Those federal funds benefit border infrastructure at the local ports of entry and the border wall “to ensure that this community is safe,” McSally added.
She cautioned that her Democratic opponent Mark Kelly’s first vote will be for Chuck Schumer, also a Democrat and currently Senate minority leader, and with Schumer and Joe Biden, the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee, in power, border security will suffer.
“They’re talking about taking the wall down,” she said, adding, “The illegal activity that would be coming through this community would be devastating.”
She asked Yuma residents for their support. “We had a strong economy before. The hard-working people of Yuma and the agriculture sector, it’s strong, and we can get there again and even better, even stronger, with lowering taxes and less regulations and providing more relief to people instead of what my opponent and Joe Biden are offering, which is raising your taxes, more regulations and more things that impact small businesses.
“I hope people see what my record is, a strong economy and strong security and investment in infrastructure, and what the stakes are of their vote going forward for this community,” McSally said.
Prior to the event, the senator held virtual meetings and took a COVID-19 test. She said she would be meeting with President Trump on Air Force One after the rally.
“It’s great to be able to host the president here, and we’ll be back here soon,” McSally added.