The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it would be putting up a temporary barrier in areas “previously disrupted by other construction activities” beginning next year, according to a letter shared with The Arizona Sun Times. C.J. Karamargin, communications director for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), told The Sun Times this is not going to happen.
“Essentially, they’re [the CPB] asking that we re-open the gaps in the border barrier. Not gonna happen,” Karamargin said in a phone interview.
The CPB sent this letter Monday, not to the governor’s office but to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Addressed to “to whom it may concern,” it outlined using “temporary mesh fencing” and “mechanized bollard vehicle gates” to fill the border gaps. The CBP appears to be trying to build a temporary border fence by removing the one Ducey already set up.
“Governor Ducey takes his role in protecting the security of Arizonans very seriously. What they are asking to do is crazy,” Karamargin said.
This letter marks the latest debacle facing Ducey after he decided to take Arizona’s border security into his own hands and fill border wall gaps in Yuma with double-stacked shipping containers topped with concertina wire.
The Biden administration’s Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) sent Ducey a letter Friday, demanding the containers be taken down. BOR alleged that Ducey violated federal law by placing the containers and even trespassed against the United States. However, Ducey has refused to take the barriers down.
In a response shared with The Sun Times, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (ADEMA) Director Allen Clark refuted the argument that Ducey broke federal law. Under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) tile 43, part 429.4(c)(8), the BOR does not have regulation over activities “specifically authorized under other Federal statutes or regulations.” Clark argued that the U.S. Constitution protects states and reserves the right for states to protect themselves. Therefore, Clark said Arizona’s actions are not prohibited based on what the BOR alleged.
Furthermore, Ducey has Arizona officials backing him up to stay strong against the Biden administration. Arizona State Representative Tim Dunn (R-Yuma) released a statement urging Ducey not to remove the containers.
“The Biden administration has made it clear that they have no interest in protecting America’s borders. 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,” Dunn said. “Now, the Biden administration is demanding that Arizona remove those barriers. I don’t think we should, and I hope Governor Ducey holds fast.”
Dunn has actively spoken against the Biden administration for its handling of the border crisis and the strain it has put on his community.
In response to Dunn’s statement, Karamargin told The Sun Times he hit the nail on the head.
“Representative Dunn has been a forceful champion for border security, and we certainly appreciate everything he’s done and will continue to do on this issue,” Karamargin said. “Representative Dunn hit the nail on the head. The feds need to step up.”
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Doug Ducey at the Southern Border” by Governor Doug Ducey.