Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, R, has agreed to stop installing shipping containers along his state’s border with Mexico. According to a court filing, Arizona also agreed to remove those that have already been put in place to avoid a restraining order or preliminary injunction.
The containers were added to fill gaps in the border wall. The agreement states Arizona will remove them by Jan. 4 to the extent feasible and in a way that won’t damage federal lands or property.
“Arizona will remove all previously installed shipping containers and associated equipment, materials, vehicles and other objects from the United States’ properties,” the court filing stated with a caveat for personnel safety. “No specific action by any party is required if it is reasonably determined that these objectives are compromised.”
Gov. Ducey’s administration installed more than 3,000 containers, stacked two high with razor wire on top, including in a national forest and a section of property on an Indian reservation held by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Biden administration contended the move was illegal because it was on federal property.
The containers had already cost Arizona taxpayers at least $6 million. The next step would have been a ten mile section with a $95 million price tag. The money was coming out of the $335 million Arizona Border Security Fund, which was approved by the state legislature.
A spokesperson for the governor told Tucson.com that this is really a victory for Ducey because the federal government has now agreed to fill in gaps in the border fence, which is what he wanted all along. That construction will start before the end of the year. Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, D, who takes office Jan. 2, said she would stop the shipping container wall project. She called it a “political stunt” and “waste of taxpayer dollars.”