Dec 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Arizona agrees to remove border wall of shipping containers

Shipping containers used for a border wall along the US-Mexico border in the Coronado National Forest near Hereford, Arizona on December 20, 2022

Shipping containers used for a border wall built by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Coronado National Forest. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will take down a barrier of double-stacked shipping containers along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border after reaching an agreement with the federal government.

Driving the news: Arizona agreed to halt erecting any more containers along the border and will remove existing containers by Jan. 4, according to a court document filed Wednesday.

  • "By January 4, 2023, to the extent feasible and so as not to cause damage to United States’ lands, properties, and natural resources, Arizona will remove all previously installed shipping containers and associated equipment, materials, vehicles," the agreement says.

The big picture: It comes after a lawsuit filed by the Biden administration last week, which asked a court to order Arizona to stop building the barrier and remove the containers.

  • The lawsuit cited operational and environmental concerns as at least partial grounds for ordering Ducey to take down the wall.

What they're saying: CJ Karamargin, a spokesperson for Ducey's office, said that the Arizona governor intended the border wall to be a "stopgap measure" and that the state would remove the containers "once the federal government ... took steps to erect a permanent barrier."

  • "Finally, after the situation on our border has turned into a full-blown crisis, they've decided to act," Karamargin said in a statement.
  • "Better late than never. We're working with the federal government to ensure they can begin construction of this barrier with the urgency this problem demands."

What's next: Karamargin said that the final details are still being worked out on removing the structure.

  • Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs is set to take office next month.

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