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Using public donations and cheap convict labor, an Arizona lawmaker is working to build a fence to secure the state’s porous border with Mexico against illegal immigrants.

A new state law that goes into effect July 20 allows Arizona to build a barrier on the state’s 370-mile border with Mexico, provided it can raise sufficient private donations and persuade public and private landowners to let them build it on their land.

“We need to do it this way because, well, the federal government is not building it, and Arizona does not have enough of our own money to build it,” said Steve Smith, the Republican state senator who sponsored the law.

“So now it looks like the people will have to do what the government is not doing,” he added in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Source: Tim Gaynor for Reuters.

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Using public donations and cheap convict labor, an Arizona lawmaker is working to build a…