Gov. Ducey files lawsuit over shipping containers, Arizona’s right to defend itself
Oct 21, 2022, 1:15 PM | Updated: 1:20 pm
PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey filed a lawsuit in federal court on Friday defending the state’s use of shipping containers to close gaps in the southern border barrier.
The lawsuit seeks to affirm Arizona’s right to defend itself after the federal government said the containers were illegally placed and need to be removed.
“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,” Ducey said in a press release.
“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.”
More than 3,800 feet of border gaps were closed with double-stacked shipping earlier this year, with state officials saying it was to deter migrants from crossing.
The move came despite previous pledges from the Biden administration to finish construction of the wall near Yuma.
The Bureau of Reclamation sent the state a letter last week saying the containers are considered trespassing against the U.S. and harm federal lands and resources.
The bureau also said it wants to prevent conflicts with two federal contracts that have been awarded and two more still pending to fill border wall gaps near the Morelos Dam in the Yuma area.
This week, the state Department of Emergency and Military Affairs said barriers will stay until the federal government begins construction under the new contracts.
“For this reason, the containers will remain in place until specific details regarding construction are provided, ” Allen Clark, DEMA director, said in the letter.
“Once that information has been shared, the state will direct our contractors to work with the federal contractors to maintain the security of the area and that work under the federal contract is not impeded.”