As Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey makes efforts to fill gaps along the US-Mexico border with shipping containers, the Biden Administration this week accused him of trespassing on federal land.
The regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Basin, Jacklynn Gould noted in a letter to Arizona government that by placing those containers without authorization, it has violated federal law and is trespassing against the United States.
Gould, whose bureau falls under the Department of the Interior, stressed that the trespass is impeding Reclamation’s ability to perform its mission and is harming federal lands and resources.
She stated in her letter that the Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract to close gaps near Morelos Dam, and she expects another award to be handed out additionally for two more gaps in the area.
Only two weeks ago, federal officials ordered Ducey to take down containers he had placed in the southwestern part of the state in August after he stressed that his constituents can’t wait any longer for the federal government to resolve the US south border migration crisis.
The GOP governor responded by lodging a lawsuit in which it requested the courts to allow the state of Arizona to keep 100 shipping containers – double stacked with barbed wire on top – in place near Yuma, claiming that the state has a constitutional right to act and that the land at the border shouldn’t be under federal jurisdiction.
He argued that the Biden administration’s lack of planning and action demonstrates that Arizona and other border states overwhelmed by illegal activity due to the administration’s failure to secure the southern border, cannot rely on the federal government to ensure its security.
Since the project began, the state of Arizona filled 3,900 feet of the open border within 11 days by stacking 130 shipping containers as part of Ducey’s plan to use more than 2,700 60-feet long containers to cover a 10-mile section of the border.