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 September 23, 2023

Federal lawsuits against Arizona GOP for shipping container wall dismissed

A U.S. District Court in Phoenix dismissed two federal lawsuits ending the standoff over shipping containers former Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey placed as a makeshift barrier at the Southern border, the Associated Press reported. The state has agreed to pay $2.1 million to the U.S. Forest Service to fix damages to the landscape.

Out of desperation in the face of illegal immigration, Ducey placed the containers, stacked two high, in August 2022. Nearly 3,000 were put along the border in the San Rafael Valley in central Arizona's Cochise County and in Yuma in the western part of the state.

Facing opposition from the federal government, Ducy sued for the right to keep the project going. In turn, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the then-governor as well as other Arizona officials involved in the decision-making process for the barrier.

It alleged that the containers inhibited the Forest Service's ability to manage the land and negatively impacted the environment. In December, Ducey agreed to remove them before his term was up, stating that it was meant to be a temporary measure all along.

With the dismissal of the original lawsuit on Sept. 15, the matter is resolved. However, the problem that necessitated them in the first place has never been addressed, namely unchecked illegal immigration spurred on by President Joe Biden's unwillingness to really do anything about it.

After a slight lull in the number of illegal immigrants, the U.S. is once again welcoming thousands of newcomers, Reuters reported. A new strategy the administration tried in May initially worked, as crossings were down 70%.

Tactics like deportation and barring those caught crossing illegally from being readmitted into the U.S. for five years were making a dent in the number of illegal immigrants. However, the waning interest in enforcing those rules has led to another spike, especially as word gets out to the nations from where migrants are coming.

"The (Biden administration) hit on a smart strategy, but they don't have the resources or capacity to implement it," said Andrew Selee, head of the Migration Policy Institute. Not only are more coming to the border already but caravans and trains full of people are still making their way through Central and South America.

Moreover, the problem isn't just for states like Arizona, Texas, and California. The people who are coming over the border are equally stuck as resources are stretched too thin to process them, let alone feed and house the newcomers.

"Our money ran out, and we don't have anything to eat," Oscar Suarez, a migrant from Venezuela, said. "All the shelters in Tijuana are full. We have to do something."

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is attacking any state that tries to help itself. Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott had placed razor wire in the Eagle Pass area of the Rio Grande, but the federal government removed the barrier, Fox News reported.

"Texas installed razor wire in Eagle Pass to stop illegal crossings," Abbott said last week on X, formerly Twitter. "Today the Biden Admin CUT that wire, opening the floodgates to illegal immigrants."

"I immediately deployed more Texas National Guard to repel illegal crossings & install more razor wire," Abbott added. The Texas governor later promised the Biden administration that he was pushing back on the "invasion at our border" with these measures.

These states along the border are forced to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants while the federal government does little to help. Worse yet, they hinder any attempt to protect their borders.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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