The US government on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Arizona governor Doug Ducey and the state for building a border wall out of shipping containers, which they say is trespassing on federal lands.
The Justice Department filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service it oversees.
The complaint was filed three weeks before the Republican governor is replaced by Democratic governor-elect Katie Hobbs, though Hobbs’ victory has been contested in court by her Republican opponent Kari Lake.
The Justice Department is asking the court to remove the containers in remote San Rafael valley in easternmost Cochise county.
“Officials from Reclamation and the Forest Service have notified Arizona that it is trespassing on federal lands,” the DOJ’s complaint reads, adding that they will be seeking financial compensation to fix any damage along the border.
US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said that the temporary border wall “is not an effective barrier, it poses safety hazards to both the public and those working in the area and has significantly damaged public land.”
He added, “We need serious solutions at our border, with input from local leaders and communities. Stacking shipping containers is not a productive solution.”
While Ducey said that Arizona will cooperate with the removal of the containers, he has asked the US government to say when it will fill any remaining gaps in the permanent border wall as it said it would a year ago, saying that the US “owes it to Arizonans and all Americans to release a timeline.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS
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