Samuel Case, FISM News
Outgoing Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey is making it a top priority to finish the border wall in Arizona before leaving office by stacking shipping containers as a temporary barrier fix.
“Arizona is going to do the job that Joe Biden refuses to do — secure the border in any way we can,” Ducey said in October when the state sued the federal government to continue the project.
At the time the state refused to remove shipping containers used to secure gaps in the border wall in Yuma, Arizona. Ducey said that it is his constitutional duty to protect the rights and safety of Arizona citizens, and that having a secure border is doing just that.
Arizona’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs said in a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Bureau, “The containers will remain in place until specific details regarding construction are provided.”
As of last week, over 900 containers had been double-stacked along the border, but large gaps still remain in the makeshift wall, according to the Associated Press.
Critics have said the move is illegal since some of the border walls are on federal land, with one Arizona sheriff describing the governor’s actions as “illegal dumping.”
“The area where they’re placing the containers is entirely on federal land, on national forest land,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway said according to FOX 10 Phoenix.
He continued, “It’s not state land, it’s not private land, and the federal government has said this [is] illegal activity. So just the same way if I saw somebody doing an assault or a homicide or a vehicle theft on public land within my county, I would charge that person with a crime.”
Incoming Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs said she is “looking at all the options” to remove the containers and has suggested turning them into a form of affordable housing.
“I think we could do a lot of good with those containers, like making affordable housing for people,” she told the Arizona Republic in November.
The ongoing dispute over the containers comes as the southwest border has seen over 2 million migrant encounters in Fiscal Year 2022, including 98 individuals on the terror watchlist.