Border wall built out of shipping containers in Arizona to be dismantled after Biden lawsuit

Border Wall Shipping Containers
A long row of double-stacked shipping contrainers provide a new wall between the United States and Mexico in the remote section area of San Rafael Valley, Ariz., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. Work crews are steadily erecting hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers along the rugged east end of Arizona’s boundary with Mexico as Republican Gov. Doug Ducey makes a bold show of border enforcement even as he prepares to step aside next month for Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Ross D. Franklin/AP

Border wall built out of shipping containers in Arizona to be dismantled after Biden lawsuit

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The Arizona state government has agreed to remove its makeshift border wall made of shipping containers after coming to an agreement with the Biden administration to resume construction along the southern border.

Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) agreed to halt the placement of any more shipping containers along the border and remove any existing containers by Jan. 4, 2023, according to a court document filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on Wednesday. The agreement comes just one week after the Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Arizona to remove the barriers, arguing they posed public safety risks and were harmful to the environment.

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“For more than a year, the federal government has been touting their effort to resume construction of a permanent border barrier,” C.J. Karamargin, spokesman for Ducey’s office, told the Washington Examiner. “Finally, after the situation on our border has turned into a full-blown crisis, they’ve decided to act. 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.”

Ducey issued an executive order in August to begin erecting shipping containers along the southern border as a temporary measure until the U.S. government followed through with a pledge from President Joe Biden to fill any gaps in the border wall. Biden made that pledge in December 2021.

The Biden administration later sued over the shipping container wall, contending that one of the state’s double-stacked container walls was illegally dropped on 10 miles of federal land without the U.S. government’s permission. As a result, the federal government ordered the removal of the barriers and for the state to pay for any damages.

Ducey’s office responded to the lawsuit, noting it would remove some of the barriers but urged the federal government to come to an agreement on resuming border wall construction.

“We also said then that when the federal government gets serious about building a permanent border barrier, we will happily remove them. And now that is what has happened,” Karamargin said. “There is a stipulation in the agreement that says they are going to start on a permanent — or resume, I should say — on a permanent border barrier. So, as far as we’re concerned, we got what we wanted.”

The agreement also comes as the White House is poised to terminate its Trump-era Title 42 immigration policy, which allows border agents to expel immigrants immediately upon encountering them. Title 42 was enacted in 2020 under the Trump administration in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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The immigration policy was set to expire on Wednesday but has since been extended by the Supreme Court after an emergency plea from 19 Republican-led states urging the court to keep the Trump-era policy. Now, the policy is under review by lawmakers as they consider whether to include an extension in the omnibus spending bill that Congress is set to vote on before midnight Friday.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) unveiled an amendment to the government omnibus spending bill that would extend the Title 42 immigration policy until a “proper plan” can replace it. As part of her proposal, Sinema proposed allocating millions of dollars to go toward enhancing the immigration court process, increasing the number of attorneys prosecuting crimes committed at the border, strengthening detention for smugglers and other criminals who are apprehended, funding Immigration and Customs Enforcement transportation and detention, and expediting the deportation of illegal immigrants, among other provisions.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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