The decade's most triggering comedy
Arizona will pay $2.1 million to the federal government after the state was sued over a makeshift border wall made up of shipping containers to deter illegal immigration into the U.S.
The Department of Justice brought legal action against Arizona in December 2022 after then-Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, issued an executive order to begin placing shipping containers along Arizona’s border with Mexico four months earlier. After the DOJ claimed that the makeshift wall had been erected “unlawfully and without authority,” thereby “damaging the United States,” Ducey agreed to remove the barriers.
Now Arizona will pay the U.S. Forest Service for environmental remediation efforts after federal officials said the containers had damaged federal land. The shipping containers had been placed along the border in Cochise and Yuma counties, where crossings have been high. The federal suit against Arizona is expected to be withdrawn after the remediation payment is complete, according to the Arizona Republic.
“Arizona has had enough,” Ducey said in a statement after issuing the executive order to begin placing the containers. “We can’t wait any longer. The Biden administration’s lack of urgency on border security is a dereliction of duty. For the last two years, Arizona has made every attempt to work with Washington to address the crisis on our border. Time and time again we’ve stepped in to clean up their mess. Arizonans can’t wait any longer for the federal government to deliver on their delayed promises.”
Within 11 days of Ducey’s order, 3,820 feet of the previously open border were closed with 130 shipping containers. The initiative expanded with 6,680 feet of containers stacked two high throughout Cochise County by early November. The barriers reportedly cost around $95 million to install and about $66 million to remove after the Biden administration sued. The containers have since been put up for sale by the state government.
Arizona Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs opposed the construction of the barriers, saying they were ineffective.
“It’s not land that’s our land to put things on. That’s one problem. The containers aren’t working. There’s many pictures of people climbing over them,” she said. “It’s a political stunt. It’s a visual barrier that is not actually providing an effective barrier to entry, and I think a waste of taxpayer dollars.”