Mexico City, Mexico — The state of Arizona says it has ceased the placement of metal containers along the border with Mexico and that they are willing to “cooperate” in their removal.
“The placement of containers as a barrier has always been a temporary solution until the federal government erects a permanent solution,” Annie Foster, general counsel in the office of Governor Doug Ducey said in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Foster indicated in the letter that the placement of the containers has ceased and that Arizona agencies and contractors are “ready” to assist in the removal of the containers when the federal government closes the existing gaps in the border wall.
“The federal government owes it to Arizonans and all Americans to present a timeline for the start of construction to close the gaps left in the border wall and details of how the border will be secured while construction takes place,” he said.
Ducey’s office denies allegations that the barrier poses a serious danger to public safety and harms the environment.
He claims that after President Joe Biden ordered a halt to the construction of the border wall, public lands in Arizona “quickly” turned into “rivers” of clothing and objects abandoned by migrants who continually cross the border from Mexico.
He also denies accusations that the barrier interferes with the work of federal agencies, assuring that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have said that the container barrier has helped them regain control of the region.
In August, Ducey ordered the placement of the containers on the Yuma border where there are at least ten gaps between wall segments. The placement of the containers, stacked one on top of the other to a height of more than fifteen feet, spread to other areas within Cochise County, prompting protests and criticism from environmental advocates.
The announcement of the cessation of the placement of the containers comes at the same time the Department of Justice and defenders of the environment filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for the installation of the containers on national lands.