Shipping containers fill several gaps in the border fence near Yuma. The bureau says Arizona’s placement of the containers there constitutes trespassing on federal land. Photo taken Sept. 8, 2022. (Photo by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)
Ducey, federal government battle over shipping containers at the border
YUMA – Using old shipping containers isn’t a permanent or effective solution to secure the southern border, as state and Yuma officials know. Now, the political stunt is embroiled in a legal battle with the federal government.
In August, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order to place empty shipping containers in several gaps in the border fence near Yuma. The containers, stacked two high, are topped with razor wire. The goal isn’t to stop everyone, which Ducey said is impossible, but he’s confident the big metal boxes will slow the flow of border crossings.
“The idea behind the shipping containers is that they’re available,” Ducey said in a news conference in September. “They are affordable and they’re effective. I think the ideal situation is more of a permanent solution, and there’s no perfect solution.”
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At the border later that month, the multicolored containers sat while steel beams that were to be installed in the gaps over the years were loaded onto 18 wheelers and shipped to other parts of the border where gaps exist in the fence. As the trucks crawled along a dirt path adjacent to the border, Ducey stood proudly in front of the shipping containers.
Javier Flores, who was driving one of the trucks, doesn’t think the containers work as even a temporary solution.
“Do you think they are of much use? I have a video of the people on top of the containers yesterday,” he said in September.
In August, some of the containers toppled over, which the governor’s office attributed to people knocking over the 8,800-pound metal boxes. To date, 130 containers have been placed on the border.