Arizona Governor Doug Ducey was charged last week with trespassing by the Biden administration. As Fox News reports, it's a dispute Ducey has been having with the central administration since last August, when the Republican governor installed 100 containers on the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma. Your objective? Fill in the gaps along the border.
The containers, placed in rows of two and with barbed wire on top, soon began to be a nuisance to the Biden administration. Federal officials ordered him to remove them two weeks ago. But the governor resisted. He sued and asked the courts to allow Arizona to keep them as a preemptive measure to fill in the gaps not covered by a wall. A request that was rejected.
However, Ducey refuses to remove the containers. For him, they represent a message: they are a form of protest against the U.S. government's failure to seek solutions to make the border a safer place, as he stated in declarations collected by
Arizona has done the work that the federal government has not done, and we have shown them how quickly and efficiently you can make the border more secure, if you want to.
The Biden administration, against
According to Fox News, Ducey's plan is to cover a ten-mile section of the border using more than 2,700 containers. But the Biden administration continues to oppose them and is demanding that the Republican governor remove them, claiming that Arizona is encroaching on federal lands. The response came in the form of a letter that Jacklynn Gould, Lower Basin regional director of the Colorado Bureau of Reclamation, sent to the governor of Arizona:
The unauthorized placement of such containers is a violation of federal law and is an intrusion against the United States. That intrusion is damaging federal lands and resources and impeding Reclamation's ability to fulfill its mission.
This reasoning, however, does not convince Douglas Nicholls, the Republican mayor of Yuma. He assured Fox News that the land belongs to the federal government, but in the face of their ability to react, someone has to act:
They say this is federal land, and it is, and it would supposedly be an intrusion to put those containers there. Well, my argument is that 300,000 people have come through so far this year alone, they've been trespassing, and I don't recall seeing a letter sent to anybody to try to stop any of this.