Texas Defiantly Stands Behind 'Border Wall' Of Shipping Containers

The GOP-led state is sticking with its makeshift barrier, even as Arizona dismantles a similar wall under federal orders.

As Arizona dismantles its makeshift border wall of shipping containers, Texas is continuing to defend a similar barrier along the Rio Grande.

Both barriers were constructed on federal land under orders from the states’ Republican governors, even though the federal government has jurisdiction over international borders.

Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration spent more than $80 million to arrange about 120 shipping containers into a four-mile wall, The Wall Street Journal reported. But Arizona agreed last month to remove the barrier after the federal government sued the state.

Arizona’s new Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs, has derided the barrier as a political stunt, and is pressing ahead with dismantling it.

But Texas is sticking to its border barrier. Gov. Greg Abbott announced in November that the state was moving large shipping containers to the banks of the Rio Grande near downtown El Paso — between official ports of entry — to keep out migrants.

He has refused to discuss cost. So far, about a dozen large containers have been placed by the National Guard to create a makeshift barrier, according to the El Paso Times, which reported that migrants were seen last month easily circumventing the containers.

The containers will remain in place “as long as necessary to impede the flow of illegal immigrants into Texas communities,” vowed state emergency-management spokesperson Seth Christensen, the Journal reported.

The so-called wall remained in place as President Joe Biden visited the southern border Sunday to address the immigration issue.

Biden spent about four hours in El Paso. He visited the Bridge of the Americas port of entry — which connects El Paso to Ciudad Juárez for tourists and commercial trade — and the El Paso County Migrant Services Center, The Texas Tribune reported. He was photographed walking along a border fence, apparently some distance from the shipping container barrier.

El Paso is currently the biggest corridor for illegal crossings, in large part due to Nicaraguans fleeing repression, crime and poverty in their country.

Nicaraguans are among migrants from four countries subject to quick expulsion under rules enacted by the Biden administration in the past week that drew strong criticism from immigration advocates.

The Texas containers are on land managed by the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Journal noted. The binational agency enforces treaties between the nations, and evaluates various projects that could affect the Rio Grande.

Texas officials didn’t notify the commission of the project or receive a permit to place the containers, Sally Spener, U.S. secretary of the agency, told the Journal.

“If you don’t have a permit, your structure should not be on someone else’s land,” Spener said. She warned that the makeshift barrier in the floodplain could change water flows and reconfigure the international boundary. It could also worsen flooding and cause loss of life and property, she said.

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