Phoenix: The U.S. government sued Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the state Wednesday over the placement of shipping containers as a barrier on the border with Mexico, saying it is trespassing on federal lands.
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court comes three weeks before the Republican governor steps aside for Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, who has said she opposes the construction.
Ducey told U.S. officials earlier this week that Arizona is ready to help remove the containers, which he says were placed as a temporary barrier. But he wants the U.S. government to say when it will fill any remaining gaps in the permanent border wall as it announced it would a year ago.
The U.S. “owes it to Arizonans and all Americans to release a timeline,” he wrote in a Tuesday letter, responding to news of the pending federal complaint.
Border security was a focus of Donald Trump’s presidency and remains a key issue for Republican politicians.
The Department of Justice complaint asks the court for Arizona to be ordered to halt placement and remove the containers in remote San Rafael Valley in southeastern Cochise County.
The work placing up to 3,000 containers at a cost of $95 million is about a third complete, but protesters concerned about its impact on the environment have held up work in recent days.