PHOENIX — An effort by Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to use shipping containers to fill a 1,000-foot gap in the US-Mexico border wall near Yuma suffered a brief setback when two stacked containers toppled from one way or another.
Claudia Ramos, a digital platform correspondent for Univision Noticias in Arizona, posted on her Twitter feed a photo she took Monday morning of the containers alongside them. She said they fell on the American side of the border.
No witnesses came forward to say what happened Sunday night.
Ramos said contractors in the area told him they thought the containers may have been blown over by strong monsoon winds.
But CJ Karamargin, a spokesman for Ducey, said he doubted that assumption, adding that even though the containers are empty, they still weigh thousands of pounds.
“It’s unlikely to be a weather event,” Karamargin said, suggesting someone opposed to the wall was to blame.
The pair of stacked containers was righted early Monday morning.
“Clearly we have struck a chord. They don’t like what we are doing and they don’t want to keep the border open,” the spokesperson said.
Officials in Ducey’s office said they were moving to stop the migrants after repeated and broken promises from the Biden administration to close the gap.
Federal officials have not commented on the state’s actions, which come without explicit permission on federal lands. State contractors began moving and stacking 60-foot-long (18.2 meters long) and 9-foot-tall (2.7 meters high) shipping containers early Friday. Two other 1,000-foot (305-meter) gaps will also be closed. The containers will be topped with 4 feet (1.2 meters) of barbed wire.
Karamargin said Border Patrol notified the governor’s office around midnight that the containers had been knocked over.
“These weren’t secure yet,” he said. “This happened before securing the containers to the ground. They will be bolted on later and will not be removable.