ARIZONA, USA —
Federal officials say Governor Doug Ducey's placement of stacks of shipping containers along the Arizona-Mexico border near Yuma violates federal law.
In a letter Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees the area where the containers were placed, said the unauthorized placement of the containers constitutes a violation of federal law and is considered trespassing.
The department said the containers are harming federal lands and resources, and their placement interferes with the Biden Administration's plans to close gaps in the border fence in the area.
The Bureau asked Ducey to remove the existing containers and to stop placing any new containers.
The containers cost Arizona taxpayers 6 million dollars.
In August, Ducey announced his plan to place the 60 double-stacked shipping containers, reinforced with wire, "to immediately fill the gaps in the Yuma border wall."
Ducey's office said the shipping containers would reach about 22 feet high and the state-owned, 8,800-pound, 9-by-40-feet containers would be linked together and welded shut.
The construction of the barrier on federal land represents an affront to the White House in an ongoing political battle over border security.
“Our border communities are being used as the entryway to the United States, overwhelming law enforcement, hospitals, nonprofits and residents,” said Ducey last month.
“It’s our responsibility to protect our citizens and law enforcement from this unprecedented crisis. With the resources and manpower in the right places, our Border Patrol and law enforcement will be better equipped to do their jobs well and prevent cartels from exploiting our communities. That’s exactly what our barrier mission will do."
Ducey's office told 12News Friday, they are "reviewing the letter."
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.
More ways to get 12News
On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.
On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device
The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona.