Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) is weighing options before responding to an order from the Biden Administration to remove shipping containers from the Mexican border. The governor ordered the barriers along gaps in existing border walls earlier this year.
The U.S. Department of the Interior wrote a letter to Governor Ducey, demanding the removal of double-stacked shipping containers placed on federal land near Yuma. The letter also demanded no new containers be placed, the Associate Press reported.
A spokesman for the governor’s office told the Washington Examiner the state is considering its response to the letter.
“As for the letter, we question their legal analysis and we are looking at our options,” Arizona Governor’s Communication Director C.J. Karamargin told the DC news outlet. “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.”
In mid-August, state contractors began placing more than 3,000 double-stacked shipping containers to fill gaps in the Arizona border with Mexico left by Biden’s inauguration day order to stop the building of barriers, Breitbart Texas reported.
“Inaction by President Joe Biden has led to the worst border crisis in over 20 years,” Governor Ducey said in a signing letter in June. ” We’ve taken numerous steps to help resolve the chaos, including deploying the Arizona National Guard, signing legislation to address human smuggling, and transporting migrants on a voluntary basis to Washington, D.C.”
The Biden Administration eventually responded in a letter saying, “The unauthorized placement of those containers constitutes a violation of federal law and is a trespass against the United States. That trespass is harming federal lands and resources and impeding [the Bureau of] Reclamation’s ability to perform its mission.”
Nearly 310,000 migrants crossed the border from Mexico into the Yuma Sector in FY22, according to an unofficial Border Patrol report reviewed by Breitbart Texas. Another nearly 252,000 entered through the Tucson Sector.
In November 2021, Breitbart Texas’ Randy Clark reported large groups of migrants entering the Yuma Sector through gaps in border walls.
“The statistics show Yuma’s apprehension increase in October 2021 is 2,647 percent over October 2020,” Clark wrote. “According to CBP, Yuma is closely trailing the Del Rio Sector by a mere 6,488 apprehensions for the month.”
In response to the gaps and increasing migrant crossings in southwestern Arizona, Governor Ducey wrote to the Biden Administration, saying, “Ultimately, however, securing our border is the responsibility of the federal government. With this investment, we are giving our law enforcement professionals another critical resource they need to successfully do their jobs. We are standing up for the rule of law, and we are cementing Arizona’s commitment to securing our state and our entire nation.”
The construction of the border barriers was funded by a $564 million spending bill passed by the state legislature.
Building the barriers forced more migrant crossings into the Cocopah Reservation when they could not get past the container cars stacked along the border, the Examiner reported.
“We believe the Bureau is taking the necessary and appropriate action to resolve this issue,” the Cocopah tribe wrote in a statement issued Monday regarding the order by the Biden administration to remove the containers. “Beyond that, we will continue working side-by-side with local, state and federal law enforcement on securing the border.”