Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey reportedly will not comply with a Biden administration request to remove rail containers put along its southern border to fill gaps in the U.S-Mexico wall and stop the flow of illegal migration.
The Interior Department in a letter last week asked that the double-stacked containers be removed and that no new ones be added. It also stated some are on the edge of an American Indian reservation and that the federal government either has a contract to fill the gaps or plans to do so, and that the containers are in the way of those projects.
“The unauthorized placement of those containers constitutes a violation of federal law and is a trespass against the United States,” reads the letter from the agency’s Bureau of Reclamation. “That trespass is harming federal lands and resources and impeding Reclamation’s ability to perform its mission.”
In response, Ducey spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Wednesday: They want us to take down shipping containers and leave gaps open for who knows how long so they can put up what sounds like a chain link fence.”
Allen Clark, an official at Arizona’s Emergency and Military Affairs Department said: “The suggestion by any federal bureaucracy, that we take action to make the border easier to cross, is completely unacceptable. What they’re suggesting, that we take them down and make Arizona less safe, is a nonstarter.”
Ducey used an executive order in August to start putting the containers along the southwest U.S. border.
There are now about 122 such containers along the border.
“Arizona has had enough,” Ducey said at the time, amid calls for the administration to stop the flow of illegal border crossings. “We can’t wait any longer.
“For the last two years, Arizona has made every attempt to work with Washington to address the crisis on our border,” the statement continued. “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.”