Posted on December 23, 2022

Facing Federal Suit, Arizona Will Remove Border Shipping Containers

Zach Schonfeld, The Hill, December 22, 2022

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and the state have agreed to remove shipping containers placed along the U.S.-Mexico border after facing a lawsuit from the federal government.

Ducey signed an executive order in August instructing a state agency to close the gaps in Arizona’s southern border wall as officials recorded a record number of migrant encounters, with many crossing the border into Arizona.

The Department of Justice, in suing Ducey last week over his placement of the containers, argued they were illegally constructed on federal lands.

The stipulation, which was signed on Wednesday, commits Arizona to stop any installation of shipping containers on National Forest System lands and remove previously installed containers by Jan. 4 as well as “associated equipment, materials, vehicles, and other objects.”

The state had previously rebuffed demands from the Biden administration, which were made prior to its lawsuit, for Arizona to remove the containers.

The stipulation also includes language confirming that the federal government is moving forward with a plan to engineer a “barrier construction” in the Morelos Dam area, located near Yuma, Arizona.

C.J. Karamargin, Ducey’s communications director, said the shipping container program was always a “temporary, stopgap” measure until the federal government agreed to “get serious” about erecting a permanent barrier.


Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D), who will take office on Jan. 2, has voiced opposition to the shipping container initiative.