Officials in Arizona have refused a request by the federal government to remove several shipping containers that the state put in to close gaps in border fencing, claiming they do not trust the federal government to close the gaps properly.
The shipping containers, which were transported to the border wall and stacked atop one another in order to fill in gaps in the wall at the southern border.
At the time, Governor Doug Ducey claimed the federal government had “committed” to filling in the gaps in the border fencing, but had not done so yet, and the state could no longer wait. The containers were stacked two-high and razor wire was added to the top.
In August, some of the containers were found on the ground. State officials said they suspected foul play.
The United States Bureau of Reclamation sent a letter to Arizona state officials last week requesting the removal of the shipping containers so federal crews can access the area to fill in the gaps, saying the containers were unauthorized and against federal law.
This week, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs responded in its own letter saying Arizona will not remove the containers until the federal government closes the gaps more permanently, as promised.
The containers are also being opposed by environmental advocates, who say the containers will impede vital migration paths of panthers, ocelots, and other wildlife. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the state over the containers.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KTAR.COM
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