Outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Is Building Illegal Border Wall

Outgoing Republican Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona is spending almost $100 million in his ultimate weeks in workplace to erect a makeshift border wall alongside the state’s southern boundary with Mexico made from delivery containers and razor wire. Ducey has described it as an effort to finish former President Donald Trump’s border wall, however the delivery containers are being positioned on federal and tribal lands with out permission. Protesters who’ve tried to dam development warn the wall is destroying valuable desert biodiversity and forcing asylum seekers to take much more harmful routes alongside the border to hunt refuge in america. In the meantime, it’s unclear what Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs will do with the container wall as soon as she is sworn in. “It’s fairly superb that there’s merely been no [federal] regulation enforcement response,” says Myles Traphagen with Wildlands Community, who coordinates the group’s borderlands program. “Why aren’t they mobilizing a federal regulation enforcement response when this can be a blatant disregard of the regulation?” We additionally converse with Alejandra Gomez, govt director of Residing United for Change in Arizona, or LUCHA Arizona, who says immigrant communities in Arizona are responding with assist and compassion regardless of “the fueling of hate towards migrants” by Ducey and different Republicans.


This can be a rush transcript. Copy might not be in its ultimate kind.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Struggle and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

We flip now to the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration has requested Congress to greenlight greater than $3 billion to additional militarize the border because the Trump-era Title 42 pandemic coverage, that expelled over 2 million migrants with out due course of, is about to finish per week from in the present day. A document variety of asylum seekers have been apprehended alongside the southern border in latest months, together with greater than 2,400 over the weekend in El Paso, Texas. The three-day day by day common of migrants coming over the border is about 2,400 per day.

In the meantime, in Arizona, immigration and environmental activists are denouncing the unlawful development of a makeshift wall alongside its border with Mexico constructed with tons of of double-stacked delivery containers and razor wire. The undertaking is led by outgoing Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who says he’s attempting to replenish the gaps left in former President Donald Trump’s unfinished border wall. The delivery containers snake by a part of the Coronado Nationwide Forest in southern Arizona’s Cochise County. And development has continued regardless of an ongoing authorized battle between Governor Ducey and the federal authorities, with crews persevering with to stack extra delivery containers, reportedly working at evening to keep away from protesters, whilst among the containers erected earlier have already fallen over. Now activists are growing efforts to dam the development, which they are saying is destroying valuable desert biodiversity and is forcing asylum seekers to take much more harmful routes alongside the border to come back to america for refuge. In the meantime, it’s unclear what incoming Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs will do with the container wall.

For extra, we go to Arizona to talk with two company. In Tucson, Myles Traphagen is with us. He’s the borderlands program coordinator for Wildlands Community, has labored within the deserts, mountains and grasslands of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands for over 20 years. He’s a tribal member of the Chickasaw Nation. With us in Phoenix, Arizona, is Alejandra Gomez, govt director of Residing United for Change in Arizona, or LUCHA Arizona.

We welcome you each to Democracy Now! Myles, let’s start with you in Tucson. Speak about this, what many have described as a monstrosity alongside the border, two delivery containers excessive — happening for the way far, and what components of the border? And what’s taking place to the land round it? And we’ll then speak in regards to the migrants.

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: Effectively, thanks, Amy.

At present there’s 3.5 miles of delivery containers that start at Coronado Nationwide Memorial, which is a Nationwide Park Service-managed property. And so they snake by the Coronado Nationwide Forest, and this occurs to be federal land, owned by the federal authorities and also you and me. And that is in designated essential habitat for the endangered jaguar. Along with that, there’s the endangered ocelot, which the northernmost breeding inhabitants lies simply 30 miles to the south. So the environmental penalties with reference to wildlife and wildlife migration and connectivity couldn’t be extra extreme on this specific location, which has exceptionally excessive biodiversity and doubtless, arguably, among the highest within the West so far as variety of species and endangered species on the Coronado Nationwide Forest.

AMY GOODMAN: And discuss what offers Governor Ducey the authority. The place is the cash coming from? And what are folks doing round this wall which can be resisting it?

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: Effectively, Governor Ducey doesn’t have the authority, as a result of that is on federal land. And so it’s completely unlawful, what’s taking place. The Division of Emergency Army Affairs has offered the funding for this, which is a $95 million contract that was given to AshBritt, which usually does a FEMA kind of catastrophe aid tasks.

The Coronado Nationwide Forest was established in 1902. 5 years later, the Roosevelt Reservation was established by President Theodore Roosevelt. This can be a 60-foot-wide strip that begins simply west of El Paso on the Rio Grande and goes all the way in which to the Pacific Ocean. This enables the federal authorities to have management over this space for border safety and commerce functions. The secretary of homeland safety has the authority below the REAL ID Act of 2005 to waive all legal guidelines for the development of border obstacles. This can be a very scary factor that Individuals must be very involved about, this regulation. However the Arizona governor doesn’t have this authority. The institution of the Coronado Nationwide Forest and the Roosevelt Reservation predates the Arizona statehood, which occurred in 1912. So, the Division of Justice has ordered the delivery containers to be eliminated and the development to cease, but the governor continues to ignore these orders.

AMY GOODMAN: The place do the delivery containers come from?

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: And presently there’s additionally a — effectively, it’s onerous to say the place they arrive from. I imply, delivery containers are ubiquitous. It’s very ironic that, you understand, most of those have Chinese language labels on them. So, they’re simply — they’ve these scattered at varied storage yards round southern Arizona, they usually’re principally being trucked on flatbed pickup vehicles, towed by your commonplace heavy-duty pickup truck, and being stacked on the nationwide forest. Nonetheless, as a result of terrain on this space, there’s a variety of undulating topography and washes and drainages. It’s a really incomplete and considerably permeable barrier, though in lots of locations it’s fully impermeable to wildlife, resembling white-tailed deer, mule deer, javelina, jaguar, ocelots, and so forth.

AMY GOODMAN: The place are the federal brokers and authorities on this federal land attempting to cease this?

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: That is what we’re all questioning. It’s fairly superb that there’s merely been no regulation enforcement response. , the place are the U.S. marshals? The place is Secretary of Inside Thomas Vilsack on this? The place is secretary — or, excuse me, agriculture secretary? Identical goes for Inside Secretary Deb Haaland. , why aren’t they mobilizing a federal regulation enforcement response, when this can be a blatant disregard of the regulation?

AMY GOODMAN: You’ve gotten mentioned this can be a actual risk to democracy, Myles, that it’s a slippery slope in the direction of fascism. Why?

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: That’s completely true, and I don’t throw that round evenly. Let’s start with the REAL ID Act of 2005. This was handed within the wake of 9/11. And, you understand, you ask your self: How can the secretary of homeland safety, which is a politically appointed unelected official, have the flexibility to waive legal guidelines relationship again to 1890 and as much as virtually the current? These legal guidelines embody the Endangered Species Act, the Clear Air Act, the Clear Water Act, the Native American Graves Safety Act, and so forth. As much as about 60 legal guidelines have been waived for the development of border obstacles. It’s fairly superb that each homes of Congress handed these legal guidelines, and signed into regulation by whoever the sitting president was, after which surviving a century of judicial assessment. I feel Individuals have to be very involved about this, as a result of this pertains to — in all probability about 80% of the entire U.S. inhabitants would lie within the jurisdictional zone of border safety, which is 60 miles from the border, each on the Canadian facet and the Mexico facet. So, we have to be vigilant about defending our democracy.

AMY GOODMAN: Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is in El Paso in the present day. I wished to carry Alejandra Gomez into this dialog, with LUCHA Arizona. Are you able to discuss what this implies for migrants coming over the border?

ALEJANDRA GOMEZ: Sure. , what now we have seen for our communities is that there was, from Governor Ducey and likewise the Arizona Legislature, over $300 million that had been allotted on this previous legislative session for extending the border wall, for the criminalizing and the focusing on of migrants which can be merely coming over looking for a greater life for his or her households.

And so, now we have been vigilant, you understand, on this previous election cycle. We knocked on over 450,000 doorways, and an excellent portion of them had been alongside the Yuma and the Cochise border. And what we’re seeing is that proper now our communities are responding with assist — now we have been seeing that for the previous yr — and that our communities are additionally — you understand, the border has all the time been painted as — from the previous governor, Jan Brewer, and now Ducey additionally — as a spot the place terror is going on. And what now we have discovered is sort of reverse. And so, we’re attempting to sign that there must be federal options to, you understand, the immigration, humanitarian each assist and communities which can be simply looking for a greater future.

AMY GOODMAN: We simply reported in headlines in the present day that, in line with POGO — that’s the Undertaking on Authorities Oversight — over 300 folks listed on the Oath Keepers membership rolls — that far-right white supremacist group led by Stewart Rhodes, who simply bought convicted of seditious conspiracy — over 300 folks listed on their membership rolls have labored for the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, taking over jobs with the Coast Guard, the Border Patrol, ICE and the Secret Service. Does this shock you, Alejandra?

ALEJANDRA GOMEZ: It doesn’t. , Arizona has had a protracted historical past of militias. And, you understand, it’s regarding as a result of that is one thing that has been fueled by extremist Republicans for the previous decade right here in Arizona. And we want actual consideration to it. And the fueling of hate towards migrants was one thing that, sadly, Ducey continued below Trump’s biddings.

AMY GOODMAN: And at last, Myles Traphagen, we’re going to maintain Alejandra with us for our dialogue about Senator Sinema, however you’re a member of the Chickasaw Nation. Indigenous folks responding, and have Indigenous folks and nations, tribes been consulted on what’s taking place on the border, on their land?

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: This not often occurs. There’s two tribes which have land on the Arizona border, and that will be the Tohono O’odham and the Cocopah Reservation. Within the case of the Cocopah, they weren’t consulted when Governor Ducey positioned delivery containers close to the Morelos Dam in Yuma. A part of the delivery containers are on Bureau of Reclamation easements which can be on the Cocopah Reservation. So that they had been merely ignored on this case.

So, every part that Alejandra was saying runs very deep right here in Arizona so far as a protracted historical past of militias, and relationship again to additionally union busting in 1918 in Bisbee. There’s a variety of, I assume I might name it, you understand, simply inherent racism and authoritarianism constructed into a variety of the actions which have occurred within the state for a very long time now. So that is of grave concern to me.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Myles, not solely ignored however —

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: As a result of the —

AMY GOODMAN: — in plenty of instances, arrested.

MYLES TRAPHAGEN: Precisely, yeah. There was a case of two Tohono O’odham girls who had been protesting towards the border wall a number of years in the past, they usually had been run by federal courtroom fairly severely. And so they didn’t even do something to particularly harm property or injure anyone; they had been simply merely exercising their proper to defend their homeland.

AMY GOODMAN: And in that case, if folks need to go to democracynow.org, you may see our interviews round these arrests. Myles Traphagen, we need to thanks for being with us, Wildlands Community’s borderlands program coordinator. And, Alejandra Gomez, govt director of LUCHA Arizona, please stick with us.

Once we come again, we’re going to take a look at Kyrsten Sinema saying she’s leaving the Democratic Celebration. Ryan Grim will even be part of us. Again in 30 seconds.

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