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Brewer signs bill authorizing Ariz. border fence

In this April 22, 2010, photo, a Customs and Border Patrol agent patrols along the international border in Nogales, Ariz. The federal government hasn?t come up with a comprehensive strategy to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, despite an all-out war between Mexico and its violent drug gangs that has claimed 35,000 lives and pushed hundreds of thousands of immigrants into the United States (AP Photo/Matt York)

In this April 22, 2010, photo, a Customs and Border Patrol agent patrols along the international border in Nogales, Ariz. The federal government hasn?t come up with a comprehensive strategy to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, despite an all-out war between Mexico and its violent drug gangs that has claimed 35,000 lives and pushed hundreds of thousands of immigrants into the United States (AP Photo/Matt York)

A bill signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer authorizes her or a successor to erect a security fence along Arizona’s portion of the U.S.-Mexico border, either in a compact with other states or by itself.

Gubernatorial spokesman Matt Benson declined immediate comment Friday on Brewer’s reasoning for signing the bill Thursday and on whether she has any plans to invoke the authority.

Brewer recently asked President Barack Obama to extend the deployment of National Guard troops along the border and for more substantial border fences to block smugglers.

A 646-mile fence covers about 30 percent of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Nearly half of the fence sits in Arizona, the busiest gateway for both illegal immigrant entries and marijuana smuggling.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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