Arizona governor says border barriers will stay

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 8:57 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has answered the Department of Reclamation’s request to remove the container barriers he’s erected at the border.

Governor Ducey wrote a letter telling the bureau the “containers will remain in place” until the government provides plans to replace them.

The “containers will remain in place” until the government provides plans to replace them.

The office also released a letter from Customs and Border Protection which said the federal government will begin to close the gaps with construction to commence at the beginning of 2023.

The Bureau of Reclamation said the temporary barriers placed by the Governor must be removed because they are sitting on federal and tribal land.

A spokesperson for the Governor, CJ Karamargin, said “it is unacceptable that the government would ask the governor to make Arizona less safe”. “It’s beyond comprehension,” he added.

As far as removal of the barriers until the bureau begins its work, Karamargin said we “will not open up the barriers and wait” for the bureau to start. He says it’s a safety issue.

Meantime, the Center for Biological Diversity released a photograph which shows many of those containers are now in the San Rafael Valley west of Sierra Vista in Cochise County.

Robin Silver, one of the center’s founders, says the containers are jeopardizing sensitive and endangered wildlife. “In the case of endangered wildlife like jaguars and ocelots this particular area is the only functional movement corridor that’s left,” he said. “What a wall or containers will do in this area, is they’ll just disrupt the environmental situation dramatically.”

The Governor’s office did not reply to our questions about the shipping containers in Cochise County.

Whether the containers will be used to block the border makes little sense because the area is already under border patrol activity, is heavily patrolled and is under relative control.

But Silver sees it as only an election year ploy to whip up the GOP base.

“At a time that we’re trying to recover them so they have a chance to survive this is not a time to perpetuate a political stunt,” Silver said.

A sentiment echoed by the Sierra Club which first noticed the containers in Nogales and then moved. Again, their used in Cochise County is not well understood but the damage they could do it.

“The nature of these shipping containers is just to stop migration of humans, it is not really working,” said Erick Meza. “But it is definitely stopping migration of wildlife and that is very sensitive in this area.”