Tribe: Arizona built border barrier against its wishes

Sep 1, 2022, 10:24 PM | Updated: Sep 2, 2022, 5:55 pm
FILE - This photo provided by the Arizona Governor's Office shows shipping containers that will be ...

FILE - This photo provided by the Arizona Governor's Office shows shipping containers that will be used to fill a 1,000 foot gap in the border wall with Mexico near Yuma, Ariz., on Aug. 12, 2022. The Cocopah Indian Tribe said Friday, Sept. 2, that the state of Arizona acted against its wishes by stacking shipping containers on its land to prevent illegal border crossings. (Arizona Governor's Office via AP, File)

(Arizona Governor's Office via AP, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Cocopah Indian Tribe said Friday that the state of Arizona acted against its wishes by stacking shipping containers on its land to prevent illegal border crossings.

The tribe determined that the state put 42 double-stacked containers on its land near Yuma, said Michael Fila from its office of emergency management.

The tribe wrote state officials Tuesday to inform them of their findings and concerns. Fila said the containers block half of a two-lane road, closing a “vital evacuation route.”

The containers pose other safety concerns, including if the containers fall, Fila wrote. Two containers toppled during construction last month for reasons that are unclear.

“The integrity of the road itself has subsequently been damaged by the heavy machinery that was used in placing the shipping containers” and created the danger for first responders to get stuck, Fila said in an email shared with The Associated Press.

The tribe told state officials at a meeting Aug. 17 that it didn’t want the barriers and is waiting on a response to its findings, said Jonathan Athens, a Cocopah spokesman.

“We had made it clear before that we did not want the containers on our land,” he said.

The tribe’s findings are a potential setback to Gov. Doug Ducey, who said last week that the barriers were “a major step forward to secure our border.” Despite his claims, the barriers have so far failed to make a meaningful dent in illegal crossings in an area where hundreds have been entering the country daily.

Ducey spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Friday that the governor’s office was reviewing the tribe’s letter but had no immediate comment.

The state installed 130 double-stacked containers in the Yuma area last month in an effort to close gaps in the imposing wall built during Donald Trump’s presidency that were incomplete when he left office last year. The Biden administration said in July that it would plug gaps but Ducey said he couldn’t wait and hired AshBritt Inc. to install shipping containers the length of 13 football fields in five areas.

The containers that the tribe says were installed on tribal lands extend into the desert, ending abruptly in an area where migrants can easily walk around it.

The area includes rights of way for people outside the tribe to travel, which may have created confusion, said Fila. In any case, the tribe said state officials did not consult them before building.

The episode is a reminder of obstacles that the government faces with border barriers: difficulty building on tribal land, most notably in the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona, and opposition from landowners, especially in Texas, where, unlike other border states, much property is privately owned. Migrants go around the walls.

About half of encounters with migrants crossing the border illegally in the Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona, sector are in the Tohono O’odham Nation, up from 20% to 30% before walls were built just outside of the tribe’s land, said John Modlin, the sector chief.

The Cocopah expressed strong opposition to a wall in a letter to U.S. officials in May 2020, saying the barrier would cut access to the river and tribal members in Mexico.

The tribe recently released a video showing its interim police chief, Arlene Martinez, outlining other cooperative measures with the Border Patrol, such as surveillance cameras and ground sensors.

___

Associated Press writer Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Kri...
Associated Press

Latvian premier’s party emerges on top in general election

HELSINKI (AP) — Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’ ruling center-right party won the most votes in Latvia’s general election, centrist parties were runners-up and pro-Moscow parties crashed in a vote that was shaped by neighboring Russia’s war in Ukraine and divisions among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic Russian minority. With more than 97% of the votes […]
1 day ago
Ukrainian servicemen drive a tank on the way to Siversk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 1,...
Associated Press

Ukraine presses counteroffensive after Russian setback

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia attacked the Ukrainian president’s hometown with suicide drones on Sunday, and Ukraine pushed ahead with its counteroffensive after taking back control of a strategic eastern city. Russia’s loss of Lyman, which it had been using as a transport and logistics hub, is a new blow to the Kremlin as it […]
1 day ago
Police cars wrecked in soccer riots are seen on the pitch at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Jav...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What’s behind Indonesia’s deadly soccer match?

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Violence and a deadly stampede that erupted following a domestic league soccer match Saturday night marked another tragedy in Indonesian football. Here’s a look at how the chaos occurred and what is being done to prevent future incidents. ___ HOW DID THE CHAOS OCCUR? Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya defeated […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Military: Gunmen kill Pakistani UN peacekeeper in east Congo

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani soldier serving as a U.N. peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed in a militant attack in the country’s volatile east, the military said. A group of six militants reached the United Nations’ permanent operation base in the district of Minembwe, ostensibly to surrender their weapons as part […]
1 day ago
Buddhist monks perform rituals during the funeral of famed American extreme skier Hilaree Nelson in...
Associated Press

Famed US extreme skier gets traditional Nepalese funeral

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A famed extreme skier from the United States who was killed after falling from one of the world’s tallest mountains was on Sunday given a traditional funeral at a Sherpa cremation ground as Buddhist monks officiated over a ceremony attended by family, friends and government officials. Hilaree Nelson, 49, fell off […]
1 day ago
Pasika Bagerimana stands outside a temporary shelter she shares with others who fled fighting, in N...
Associated Press

Rebel violence in eastern Congo causes hunger to soar

NYIRAGONGO, Congo (AP) — The last thing Pasika Bagerimana remembers before her sons died were their cries of hunger. But the 25-year-old mother had nothing to feed them. “‘Mom, I need to eat. Can you give me food?'” they pleaded with her. Daniel, 2, and Bonane, 5, died just weeks apart in July after fleeing […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Tribe: Arizona built border barrier against its wishes