State of Arizona sues feds over request to remove shipping containers

Court documents show the state is suing multiple federal agencies

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – Arizona is suing the federal government over shipping containers placed on federal lands in the gaps in the Yuma border wall.

The US Department of the Interior sent a letter to the state nearly two months after the completion of the project requesting their removal.

Federal authorities alleged that the containers were an “intrusion on the United States”, “infringing on federal lands” and “obstructing the mission of the Claim”.

The state responded to that letter saying “The containers will remain in place.”

In the lawsuit, in which Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is the plaintiff, the state writes that it has “repeatedly pleaded with the federal government” to act on the local border crisis.

Due to federal inaction, the state argues that the container project has legal standing.

Saying that the Governor has the right to defend the State of Arizona and its citizens under the US Constitution.

“Our border communities are overwhelmed with illegal activity due to the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border,” Governor Ducey said in a statement.

“With this lawsuit, we are pushing back against the efforts of federal bureaucrats to reverse the progress we have made. The safety and security of Arizona and its citizens must not be ignored.”

Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines recently told KYMA containers have reduced the number of “known getaways” in the area.

However, camera footage spots the migrants, but Border Patrol agents never apprehend them.

“It used to be 3,000 a month, now it’s 1,000, so that’s a significant reduction,” Lines said.

Waiting for the permanent solution from the federal government

The governor’s office maintains that it will remove the temporary containers when the federal government offers a permanent solution.

Moreover, another letter sent to the governor’s office on October 18, announcing a plan to fill 4 gaps in the Yuma sector, suggests that this is not happening anytime soon.

“Gaps will be filled using a combination of temporary mesh fencing and mechanized vehicle barriers,” CBP environmental planning officer Shelly Barnes wrote. “Construction will begin in early 2023.”

Not only that, Barnes’ letter adds that “the project area is located on federal lands that were previously disturbed by other construction activities.”

Temporary solution

CJ Karamargin, spokesman for Governor Ducey, said the containers were already serving as a temporary solution and would not be removed for a mesh barrier.

“What we need is a permanent solution, not another temporary one,” Karamargin said.

Local state representative and farmer Tim Dunn defends the governor.

“Farmers are grateful that the barrier is stopped unhindered in the agricultural fields of Yuma. The border barrier mission at Yuma is critical and has helped take operational control of the chaos,” Dunn said.

You can read Governor Doug Ducey’s full 51-page complaint below.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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