The Department of Justice sued Governor Ducey over the placement of the containers on federal land
YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - Four months after they were first placed, the removal of Governor Ducey's container wall began on Monday.
Ducey placed the containers in Yuma's wall gaps using money from the state's border security fund and said the placement of over 100 containers in Yuma cost $6 million.
In October, the Federal Government asked Arizona to remove the containers so they could put in a temporary mesh barrier.
At the time C.J. Karamargin, a spokesperson for the governor said the containers already serve as a temporary solution and they won't be removed for a mesh barrier.
"What we need is a permanent solution, not another temporary one," Karamargin said.
But in December the Department of Justice formally sued Governor Ducey, which stated the make-shift wall was trespassing on federal lands, as the containers were placed without permission.
Shortly after Governor Ducey agreed to remove the containers.
According to state contracts with AshBritt, Inc. the container project in Yuma will cost taxpayers over 10 million dollars.
Local farmer and Republican State Representative Tim Dunn says it’s money well spent.
“The containers have been critical in stopping illegal border crossers from coming into the fields," Dunn said.
But since the containers have been placed in Yuma, migrant apprehensions by border patrol have only risen.
Fernie Quiroz with the Arizona California Humanitarian Coalition says the containers were simply a political stunt.
"They serve no purpose, they were meaningless,” Quiroz says.
Migrants continue to walk into yuma through the local reservation where there is only a vehicle barrier, and gather by the border wall meant to keep them out.
“The American dream is alive and vibrant, whether we choose to like it or not,” Quiroz said.
Alive and vibrant, for migrants like Barbaro Hernandez.
“In Cuba there is injustice. I cannot go back," Hernandez said.
Container wall de-construction in Yuma is expected to take at least one week.
In court documents, the state says container removal will coincide with the "commencement of engineered barrier construction by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in and around the Morelos Dam area."
At this time it's unclear when the federal government will close the gaps, and what materials they will be using.