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Arizona guv Doug Ducey fills gaps in Trump’s 450-mile border wall with shipping containers at term end

Incoming Democrat Katie Hobbs who is set to take charge of the office early next month
UPDATED DEC 12, 2022
Doug Bucey is building a makeshift new barrier built with shipping containers along part of the US-Mexico border (Twitter/@Reuters and Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
Doug Bucey is building a makeshift new barrier built with shipping containers along part of the US-Mexico border (Twitter/@Reuters and Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey is illegally erecting a makeshift new barrier of shipping containers along part of the US-Mexico border before he must hand over the keys of office to his Democratic successor next January. Construction of the container wall began in late summer in Yuma in western Arizona, a popular border crossing where large numbers of asylum seekers arrive daily and have found new ways to get around the new barriers. The containers, built in response to America's migrant crisis, filled areas left vacant by the construction of Donald Trump's 450-mile border wall and were designated illegal by the federal government.

Incoming Democrat Katie Hobbs who is set to take charge of the office early next month has also spoken out against the makeshift wall and called the massive installation a "poor use of resources." Federal agencies have told Ducey the construction on US land is unlawful and ordered it to stop. On October 21, the Republican called out federal officials over their objections and sent the dispute to court. "I don´t know how much it will cost to remove the containers and what the cost will be," Hobbs told Phoenix PBS TV station KAET in an interview Wednesday, December 7, according to Daily Mail


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Despite objections from the US government, environmentalists. and Hobbs, Ducey pressed forward with the wall until protesters slowed, then largely halted the work in recent days. Hobbs said last week she was "looking at all the options" and hasn't decided what to do about the containers, after taking charge on January 5. She previously suggested the containers be reused as affordable housing which is an increasingly popular option for homeless and low-income people.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a rally for President Donald Trump at the International Air Response facility on October 19, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona.
Doug Ducey is driving a project that is placing double-stacked old shipping containers through several miles of national forest, attempting to fill gaps in Donald Trump’s intermittent border fencing (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, environmental groups have insisted that the containers could endanger species and affect natural water systems. "A lot of damage could be done here between now and early January," said Russ McSpadden, a Southwest conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity who has regularly traveled to the site since late October. Ducey insists Arizona holds sole or shared jurisdiction over the 60-foot strip the containers rest on and has a constitutional right to protect residents from "imminent danger of criminal and humanitarian crises." "Arizona is going to do the job that Joe Biden refuses to do - secure the border in any way we can." Ducey said when Arizona sued the U.S. government. "We're not backing down."


During Donald Trump's tenure as the US president, border security was a major focus and remains an important issue for Republican politicians. Hobbs' GOP rival, Kari Lake, campaigned on a promise to dispatch the National Guard to the border on her first day in office. Recently reelected to a third term, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, has proceeded to continue building Trump´s signature wall on the mostly private land along his state´s border with Mexico and has crowdsourced funds to help pay for it. He has also gained attention for busing migrants to Democratic-led cities far from the southern border, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.


Ducey's move comes in light of a record flow of migrants arriving at the border. US border officials have stopped migrants 2.38 million times in the fiscal year that ended September 30, up 37 percent from the year before. The annual total surpassed 2 million for the first time in August and is more than twice the highest level during Trump´s presidency, in 2019. 


Twitter users have also reacted to the illegal construction of the wall on the US-Mexico border. One user lashed out at the present Arizona governor, saying, "Arizona has some of most glorious natural beauty in the world, and the southern desert is no exception. Ducey has managed to make our beautiful desert into a trashy junkyard." One user mocked the Republicans by tweeting, "Remember during the supply chain uproar when we didn’t have enough shipping containers? LOL. Typical republicans: make a costly, yet hollow show out of something that ultimately does nothing but annoy the people who have to clean it up." 



One Twitter user tweeted, "What an ineffective, amateur effort. That’s on top of being illegal and inappropriate" while another said, "At which point they will all be removed, and Ducey will have completely wasted millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to make up for his insecurity." 



"That might work in a walking dead zombie apocalypse, but in real life those are completely ineffective", tweeted another one. 


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