Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) agreed on Wednesday to tear down a makeshift wall of old shipping containers along a portion of the U.S.-Mexican border that had sparked protests and legal challenges.
The governor’s announcement came as part of a lawsuit filed by the Biden Administration against Ducey’s office last week. The Department of Justice had asserted that in placing the containers along a remote eastern boundary between Arizona and Mexico, the governor was trespassing on federal land.
Ducey, who leaves office when his term ends on January 5, has stated that the containers topped with razor wire was only meant to be temporary. The work of placing up to 3,000 containers at a cost of $95 million was about one-third complete as of last week. Protesters concerned about its impact on the environment had held it up in its final days.
It was unclear when crews would begin dismantling the container wall, or how much it would cost to remove the 9,000-pound boxes and repair environmental damage done after bulldozers cut roads, blocked streams and uprooted oaks and junipers.
Earlier this month, House Republicans, who take majority control January 3, released a sweeping agenda for 2023 that includes completing construction of the Trump Administration’s border wall, which the Biden Administration has put on pause.