US government tells Arizona to remove border containers

PHOENIX (AP) — Citing their illegality and violation of U.S. law, the federal government requests that the state remove double-stacked shipping containers used to close breaches in the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The latest dispute over how to stop unauthorized border crossings between the Biden administration and border states governed by Republicans was welcomed by the Cocopah Indian Tribe in southwest Arizona.

In the letter from last week, the Bureau of Reclamation also asked that no new containers be erected. In order to fill in gaps in the border wall near the Morelos Dam in the Yuma, Arizona, region, the bureau said it wanted to avoid conflicts with two federal contracts that have already been issued and two more that are still pending.

The letter claims that the unapproved placement of such containers “represents a trespass against the United States and a violation of federal law.” “That transgression is endangering federal lands and resources and hindering the work of Reclamation,” the statement reads.

The office of Republican Governor Doug Ducey did not respond right away on Monday, but it has previously stated that it would remove the containers if the US government began building to close the gaps.

Last month, the tribe protested that the state of Arizona had violated its intentions by erecting 42 of the twin stacks on its property near Yuma in order to stop unauthorized border crossings in a region that has grown into a critical entrance route for migrants.

In a statement released Monday, the Cocopah tribe said, “We feel the Bureau is taking the necessary and appropriate measures to rectify this situation. Beyond that, we will continue working side-by-side with local, state, and federal law enforcement on safeguarding the border.”

Ducey, who said he couldn’t wait for the United States, ordered the placement of more than 100 double-stacked containers that were positioned throughout the summer. To award the contracts it had advertised for work to repair the border wall’s gaps in the Yuma region, Customs, and Border Protection.

However, migrants have continued to get over the recently constructed obstacles, especially through the Cocopah Indian Reservation.

Republican politicians looking to demonstrate their support for border security continue to use the former president’s call for a border wall as a powerful talking point.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden halted wall construction, abandoning billions of dollars worth of incomplete but still-contractual labor. Nearly a fourth of the border, or more than 450 miles (720 kilometers), was covered by Trump’s efforts at the conclusion of his presidency.

For tiny projects at locations deemed unsafe for people to cross, notably the gaps near Yuma, the Biden administration has made a few exceptions.

The dispute with the containers near Yuma highlights the difficulties encountered while erecting barriers on the southern U.S. border. There may be opposition to building on tribal property, particularly in Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation. Landowners have the option to reject construction, particularly in Texas where a large portion of the state’s land is privately owned.

Ducey has frequently exchanged blows with the Democratic government over immigration laws, much like fellow Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. For asylum seekers who are freed in the country and want to pursue their applications, both states recently began providing free bus journeys to the East Coast.

Venezuelans can now fly privately from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, thanks to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

When the containers were put in place in southern Arizona, Ducey said, “Arizona did the job the federal government has failed to do—and we showed them exactly how swiftly and efficiently the border can be made more secure—if you want to.”

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