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.