Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is suing the Biden administration over a federal order demanding the removal of double-stacked shipping containers used to fill in gaps on the state’s border with Mexico.
In a news release announcing the lawsuit, Ducey, a Republican, said Biden’s failure to secure the southern border has resulted in surrounding communities being overwhelmed by “illegal activity.”
“Arizona is taking action to protest on behalf of our citizens,” he said. “With this lawsuit, we’re pushing back against efforts by federal bureaucrats to reverse the progress we’ve made. The safety and security of Arizona and its citizens must not be ignored. Arizona is going to do the job that Joe Biden refuses to do — secure the border in any way we can. We’re not backing down.”
The lawsuit names as defendants the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service as well as its leaders and Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack.
ARIZONA GOV BEGINS SEALING GAPS IN BORDER WALL WITH SHIPPING CONTAINERS TOPPED WITH RAZOR WIRE
On Thursday, Ducey said the “Border Barrier Mission is working.” in reference to the containers stacked along the border. In August, he announced the state had filled more than 4,000 feet of gaps in the border over the summer with shipping containers that were welded shut and topped with 4 feet of razor wire.
In the lawsuit, the governor said the federal government initiated the construction of a border wall but abandoned those efforts when Biden came into office, leaving billions of dollars in unfinished work and states with no means or support to continue construction.
The move to end construction left “numerous gaps” in the border wall and makes it easier for migrants to cross into the United States illegally, the suit said.
“Indeed, the crisis at the southern border is characterized by a massive, multifold influx of migrants, drugs, and crime that only continues to increase alongside the federal government’s neglect,” the lawsuit states. “The gaps in the border wall have also created a humanitarian crisis within Arizona as migrants flood through the border wall gaps and into Arizona’s border towns, which quickly became overwhelmed.”
The suit came days after the Bureau of Reclamation sent a letter to Arizona officials ordering the containers be removed and no new ones be placed, saying it wanted to prevent conflicts with two federal contracts already awarded and two more still pending to fill border wall gaps near the Morelos Dam in the Yuma, Arizona, area.
The Center for Biological Diversity raised a different objection to the shipping containers, filing a notice of intent to sue Ducey’s administration over what the environmental group said are plans to erect more shipping containers along the border.
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The group said the move will obstruct a critical jaguar and ocelot migration corridor.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Paul Best as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.