Arizona has refused to dismantle a makeshift border wall of more than 100 double-stacked containers. The state placed them to fill in the gaps along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it won't remove them until the government finishes the barrier.
In an Oct. 18 letter to the Bureau of Reclamation, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs stood its ground, saying, "the containers will remain in place until specific details regarding construction are provided." The letter signed by the department's director, Allen Clark, was not well received.
The Bureau of Reclamation told Arizona officials in a letter last week that the containers violated U.S. law. The federal agency demanded no new containers be placed at the site, saying it does not want to interfere with two existing federal contracts and two pending to fill the gaps at the border near the Morelos Dam in Yuma, Arizona.
Arizona's governor, Doug Ducey, originally ordered the double-stacking of containers at the border. He says he couldn't wait for Customs and Border Protection to follow through with its contracts.
Migrants have continued to avoid barriers at the border, including through the Cocopah Indian Reservation. The Cocopah Indian Tribe has complained Arizona is acting against its wishes with the barrier on its land.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue Ducey, claiming the containers would obstruct a critical jaguar and ocelot migration corridor.
Former President Donald Trump pressed on border security in his past administration. President Joe Biden has done much of the opposite, halting wall construction on his first day in office, leaving billions of unfinished work still under contract. The current administration made exceptions, closing small portions deemed unsafe for people to cross, like in Yuma.
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