In response to President Joe Biden’s inaction and refusal to secure the southern border, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) took the initiative to try and do it himself by authorizing the placement of stacked shipping containers to fill in gaps along the state’s porous border with Mexico.
That eventually led to a demand from the Biden administration to remove those border barriers, and now under threat of a federal lawsuit in that regard, Arizona’s governor has caved and agreed to take down and move the shipping containers, Breitbart reported.
Biden demands border barriers be taken down
It was in August, according to Breitbart, that Gov. Ducey and the Republican-led Arizona legislature provided $564 million for state efforts to make up for the shortcomings of the Biden administration in terms of securing the southern border against illegal immigration and the illicit trafficking of drugs and humans.
Those funds were used to erect double-stacked shipping containers as makeshift border barriers as well as to hire more staff and procure more equipment and technologies for the purpose of public safety.
However, the Associated Press reported in October that President Biden’s Interior Department, specifically the Bureau of Reclamation, sent a letter to Arizona’s governor that demanded all work on the border barriers be ceased and for the shipping containers already put in place to be removed.
“The unauthorized placement of those containers constitutes a violation of federal law and is a trespass against the United States,” the letter said. “That trespass is harming federal lands and resources and impeding Reclamation’s ability to perform its mission.”
The Bureau further asserted that the containers were unnecessary and an impediment because it had already awarded two federal contracts, and had two additional contracts pending, for the construction of parts of the updated border wall system that was begun under former President Donald Trump.
Demands backed by the threat of a lawsuit
The Washington Examiner reported at that time that Arizona was initially unmoved by the letter it had received from the Biden administration to halt its own border barrier projects, and Gov. Ducey’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, told the outlet of the Bureau’s letter, “We question their legal analysis and we are looking at our options.”
As for the two months that had elapsed between the erection of the shipping containers and the demand letter, Karamargin added, “It took the feds since August to write a letter? If this is any indication of their sense of urgency, then perhaps that explains the problem we’re having.”
Unfortunately for Arizona, its refusal to immediately comply with the administration’s demands resulted in the filing of a federal lawsuit this month, according to Breitbart, which apparently sufficed to force the governor’s compliance.
Ducey agrees to halt construction, dismantle state-built barriers
In a five-page legal filing on Wednesday, it was announced that Arizona had agreed to certain stipulations put forward by the administration in order to preclude any further action in the lawsuit against the state.
The agreement included an immediate halt to all ongoing construction operations involving the shipping containers and anything related to them.
That agreement further stipulated that by Jan. 4, with some “good faith” exceptions and leeway for various reasons, all of the previously installed shipping container barriers and associated equipment must be removed from federal properties along the border.
Per the document, discussions between Arizona and relevant federal agencies will begin next week on how best to implement this agreement in which Gov. Ducey caved to the demands and threats of the president and his administration who refuse to fulfill their obligations to defend the nation’s sovereignty and citizens with a secured border.