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In small section of border wall, Trump's promise takes shape

Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 in Yuma, Ariz. The 30-foot high wall replaces a five-mile section of Normandy barrier and post-n-beam fencing, shown at left, along the the International border that separates Mexico and the United States. Construction began as federal officials revealed a list of Defense Department projects to be cut to pay for President Donald Trump's wall. (AP Photo/Matt York)

YUMA, Ariz. — President Donald Trump says his administration plans to build up to 500 miles (805 kilometres) of border wall by the end of next year, and plans are already taking shape in Arizona and elsewhere.

But some are skeptical about whether the goal announced this week is achievable or even necessary.

Construction crews south of Yuma, Arizona, are putting up tall fencing along 5 miles (8 kilometres) of U.S.-Mexico border. The section is replacing shorter barriers meant to keep out cars, but not people.

The Border Patrol says tens of thousands of people have crossed the border illegally through the area and that the existing barriers don’t suffice.

While the number of people apprehended by the Border Patrol is up in Yuma compared with last year, the figure has dropped dramatically there and across the southern border over the past few months.

Astrid Galvan, The Associated Press