The Biden administration has ordered Arizona to remove shipping containers placed in gaps in the wall along the United States-Mexico border.
Governor Doug Ducey has publicly stated since the beginning of 2022 that his government would block off gaps in the border wall to stem the rising rates of illegal immigration into Arizona.
In September, the Cocopah Indian Tribe sent a letter complaining that 42 containers, which are double-stacked, were placed by the state government against the tribe’s wishes on its land near Yuma.
The Bureau of Reclamation subsequently sent a letter to the state government, calling for the removal of the containers. The agency alleges the “unauthorized placement” of the containers violated “federal law and is a trespass against the United States.”
“That trespass is harming federal lands and resources and impeding Reclamation’s ability to perform its mission,” the agency wrote, per Fox 10 Phoenix.
Arizona has been ordered not to install any more shipping containers as it could reportedly interfere with the federal government’s closure of the gaps in the wall.
“We believe the Bureau is taking the necessary and appropriate action to resolve this issue,” said the Cocopah tribe via a statement released on Oct. 17. “Beyond that, we will continue working side-by-side with local, state and federal law enforcement on securing the border.”
Ducey had ordered the gaps in the border wall be filled by double-stack containers in August as part of an effort to prevent illegal migrant crossings. In his announcement, the governor chastised the federal government for not taking a more proactive approach to the border crisis.
“Arizona has had enough,” said Ducey on Aug. 12. “We can’t wait any longer. The Biden administration’s lack of urgency on border security is a dereliction of duty. For the last two years, Arizona has made every attempt to work with Washington to address the crisis on our border. Time and time again we’ve stepped in to clean up their mess. Arizonans can’t wait any longer for the federal government to deliver on their delayed promises.”
At the time, the Yuma sector of the border had recorded more than 235,000 encounters with illegal migrants in a 9-month period.
“Our border communities are being used as the entryway to the United States, overwhelming law enforcement, hospitals, nonprofits and residents,” he added. “It’s our responsibility to protect our citizens and law enforcement from this unprecedented crisis.”
✅ Double-stacked shipping containers complete and the first border wall gap near Yuma is CLOSED.
Four feet of razor wire going in NOW! pic.twitter.com/pWiUYVTavn
— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) August 14, 2022
The border wall, constructed during President Donald Trump’s administration, is 30 feet high but has multiple gaps.
In July, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would resume efforts to close the gaps in the wall in the Yuma sector in order to prevent migrants from being injured on the steep terrain.
C.J. Karamargin, the communications director for Ducey, told The Washington Examiner on Oct. 18 that the state government had doubts about the agency’s “legal analysis” and was exploring its options.
“It took the feds since August to write a letter? If this is any indication of their sense of urgency, then perhaps that explains the problem we’re having,” said Karamargin.