Nogales (Ariz.) Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham near the border fence in his jurisdiction in 2010. Photo: Paul Clinton.

Nogales (Ariz.) Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham near the border fence in his jurisdiction in 2010. Photo: Paul Clinton.

Arizona lawmakers are passing the collection plate to citizens to raise funds to construct a private border fence along the Mexico border to halt drug-cartel activity, smuggling, and illegal immigration.

Since July, the effort spearheaded by State Sen. Steve Smith has raised $255,000, which would barely cover a half mile of fencing. Total supplies would cost about $426,000 per mile. Work would be completed by prisoners at 50 cents per hour, reports the Arizona Republic.

The project's first priority is to build fences at busy border-crossing points. Other plans include constructing fences along the 80 miles of border where none currently exist. Arizona shares a 370-mile border with Mexico.

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