They were never going to completely solve the issue of border security for Arizona, but the shipping containers placed along the border in the Yuma sector pursuant to Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order are coming down. The outgoing Republican governor issued the order in August directing the state’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to erect the barrier in an effort to plug some of the gaps in the border wall.
We issued an Executive Order directing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to immediately fill the gaps in the Yuma border wall. pic.twitter.com/ZElkH0x39X
— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) August 12, 2022
Following Ducey’s announcement regarding the order, the Biden Administration sent a letter to the state demanding removal of the containers, asserting that several of them were placed on land belonging to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Cocopah Indian Tribe’s West Reservation.
Arizona responded by suing the Biden Administration. As we reported in October:
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is the plaintiff in the case, whereas Chief of the United States Forest Service Randy Moore, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Toutonm, and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack are named as defendants in their official capacity.
“Our border communities are overwhelmed by illegal activity as a result of the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border,” Ducey said in a statement.
“Arizona is taking action to protest on behalf of our citizens. With this lawsuit, we’re pushing back against efforts by federal bureaucrats to reverse the progress we’ve made. The safety and security of Arizona and its citizens must not be ignored. Arizona is going to do the job that Joe Biden refuses to do — secure the border in any way we can. We’re not backing down,” Ducey added.
In turn, the Justice Department filed suit against the state in mid-December.
On Wednesday, Ducey, who leaves office the first week of January, agreed to dismantle the make-shift barrier.
— The Week (@TheWeek) December 22, 2022
Per The Week:
By agreeing to stop building the barrier and removing “all previously installed shipping containers and associated equipment, materials, vehicles, and other objects” by Jan. 4, Ducey avoids a federal restraining order or other court action on behalf of the federal government. Ducey is leaving office on Jan. 5. Incoming Governor-elect Katie Hobbs (D) has called the container barrier a waste of taxpayer money.
A Ducey spokesman said the governor agreed to remove the roughly 125 old shipping containers because he believes the Biden administration will build a permanent barrier in gaps near Yuma, as the Homeland Security Department announced in July.
Whether that permanent barrier will materialize remains to be seen, of course. Let’s not hold our breath.