Jacklynn Gould, the regional director of the BOR, expressed concern about a potential conflict between Arizona, which already got the job done, and prospective contract awardees. She also demanded that the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs "cease further placement of shipping containers on federal or Indian trust lands."
Gould stated that the "unauthorized placement of those containers constitutes a violation of federal law and is a trespass against the United States."
The Ducey administration placed the containers in order to address the trespass of 2,150,639 illegal aliens into the U.S. so far this year.
The BOR director suggested that the encroachment by DEMA's shipping containers constitutes a "trespass" that is "harming federal lands and resources and impeding Reclamation's ability to perform its mission."
In a letter sent to the BOR on October 18, DEMA director Allen Clark stated, "Arizona has not seen any action by the federal government. ... The containers will remain in place until specific details regarding construction are provided."
Clark wrote, "The myriad of federal agencies that claim jurisdiction on the southern border but do nothing to prevent the public nuisance caused by illegal immigration and criminal activity that exploits the open border is quite frustrating to those that live, work and recreate on that border and in our state."
"States like Arizona ... cannot rely on the federal government to ensure its security," said Clark.
The letter also contended that the regulation cited by the BOR didn't actually prohibit Arizona's actions and that the state had a guaranteed right, under Article IV, section 4 of the Constitution, to protect and defend itself.
Ducey’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, indicated that the BOR's demand is a "nonstarter."
"We've been hearing for months now that (the Biden administration) was planning to do something and they've done nothing," said Karamargin. "So while they're talking about it and writing letters, we're actually taking action."
Karamargin also reiterated that the Ducey administration believes "it's well within Arizona's rights to take this action."
Ducey tweeted, "The Border Barrier Mission is working. Arizona is protecting its citizens. Why the federal government won’t is beyond belief."
Ducey signed a bill into law on June 30 that would finance the construction of a wall along the Arizona border with Mexico.
$335 million in state funds was directed to "construct and maintain a border fence, purchase or install border security technologies, and to pay associated administrative costs." An additional $209 million was allocated to fund "border-related enforcement."
President Joe Biden halted construction of the southern border wall when he took office. Only after Arizona took the initiative this summer to buttress American sovereignty did the Biden administration announce that it would complete the border wall near the Yuma sector.
In the meantime, the Republican-led state got to work on shoring up border security.
On August 12, Ducey declared, "Arizona has had enough. We can't wait any longer. The Biden administration's lack of urgency on border security is a dereliction of duty."
Ducey indicated that he would fortify gaps in the state's border, using 60 double-stacked 8,800-pound shipping containers, all reinforced with concertina wire at the top. DEMA did just that, successfully plugging the gaps in the border barrier with nearly 130 containers, all double-stacked, linked together, and welded shut, filling 3,820 feet of gaps.
The containers cost the state only $6 million.
In September, Ducey said, "It's our responsibility to protect our citizens and law enforcement from this unprecedented crisis. With the resources and manpower in the right places, our Border Patrol and law enforcement will be better equipped to do their jobs well and prevent cartels from exploiting our communities. That’s exactly what our barrier mission will do."