(The Center Square) – Arizona State Representative Tim Dunn, R-Yuma, has a message for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey: don’t back down on border security.
Dunn reaffirmed his support for Ducey deploying cargo shipping containers along several border gaps in the Yuma area. He also urged Gov. Ducey to keep this strategy in place, even though the federal government wants the state to remove the physical barriers.
“The Biden administration has made it clear that they have no interest in protecting America’s borders,” Dunn said in a press release. “The same goes for Democrats who control Congress. Border states and communities are left open and undefended against the relentless flow of illegal immigration, human trafficking, and dangerous narcotics because of the federal government’s refusal to secure the border. As a result, it’s up to Arizona to do everything possible to protect our communities. And we have.”
Although the federal government wants Arizona to remove these double-stacked shipping containers from the U.S.-Mexico border, the state says it will not until the federal government agrees to construct permanent barriers in the area instead. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military told the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in an October 18 letter obtained by the Associated Press, “the containers will remain in place until specific details regarding construction are provided.”
Dunn said the state is serious about protecting the border and that taking down the shipping container barriers would negatively affect border security.
“The Legislature appropriated more than $560 million for border security assistance in the recent state budget,” Dunn wrote. “And Governor Ducey has shown great leadership, installing barriers made of shipping containers to effectively close several border gaps in the Yuma area. These barriers have succeeded in stopping the illegal traffic and trespassing through produce fields which would damage land and threaten crops that Americans rely upon.
“Now, the Biden administration is demanding that Arizona remove those barriers,” Dunn added. “I don’t think we should, and I hope Governor Ducey holds fast. Moreover, I encourage the Governor to keep up the work he’s begun and close additional gaps where possible with the defensive placement of shipping containers or by other means appropriate to improve safety and security along the border.”
The request to remove the shipping containers from the border came from the Bureau of Reclamation. The federal agency told the state in a letter last week that the containers violated federal law and demanded that the state remove the barrier. The federal government also added that it had awarded two federal contracts to fill border wall gaps near the Morelos Dam near Yuma, Arizona.
Arizona put these shipping containers up in August. They cover a stretch of roughly 1,000 feet and cost about $6 million to construct.
Dunn has been an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. Earlier this year, he sent the administration a letter urging, federal action and resources to help border communities,” according to the press release from his office.