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USA: The wall of containers on the border with Mexico is being dismantled

It will be a while before all the containers are removed, but the work has begun. The seven-kilometer “wall” near the border with Mexico, which the former governor of Arizona launched, is being dismantled.

On a dusty road in Arizona, a pick-up speeds up and takes away a large metal box. On the border between the United States and Mexico, a wall of containers, installed to several tens of thousands of dollars only a few months ago, was dismantled at the weekend.

A truck starts dismantling the wall of containers. Photo: AFP

In the months leading up to the end of his mandate, the Republican governor of Arizona, in the southwestern part of the United States, had ordered a gigantic row of containers to be placed on the border with Mexico in order, according to him, to curb illegal immigration.

“I can’t believe Governor Ducey would think that was a good idea”

But after being sued by the federal state for placing the containers on federal land in the Coronado National Forest, Gov. Greg Ducey, since replaced by Democrat Katie Hobbs, agreed in December to remove them. .

I can’t believe Governor Ducey would think that was a good idea.” Says Debbie McGuire, an Arizona resident who came to participate in the dismantling operations.

It is completely absurd to put containers that would never succeed in preventing people from passing“, she says. “It’s ridiculous and a total waste of taxpayers’ money“.

Construction of the container wall began in mid-2022 and quickly faced a powerful slingshot. Critics say the assembly is nothing more than a cynical political maneuver that harms the environment and has no impact on the number of illegal border crossings.

Steep terrain

They claim that the container wall, which stretches over almost seven kilometers through federal lands, intervention in an important environmental protection area.

The relief there is also so steep that, according to them, migrant smugglers have never really used this area.

In practice, the containers were insufficient to prevent migrants from crossing them: their rigid shape meant they were not always aligned with the terrain, leaving gaping gaps between the boxes.

It is a travesty and a waste of public money“, estimated Bill Wilson, another resident of Arizona, came to see Friday the dismantling of the container wall.

The septuagenarian also condemns “a political strategy“.

Arizona shares some 600 kilometer border with Mexicothat pass through protected areas, national parks, military areas and Indian reservations.

Illegal migrants from South and Central American countries are a recurring theme in Republican attacks on Joe Biden, who has promised to increase immediate deportations.

More than 230,000 arrests were still recorded in November at the US southern border, a record high.

Until the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House in 2017 – who had campaigned on the slogan “Let’s build the wall” – there was not really a physical barrier between Arizona and Mexico.

Now large parts of the border have a grid that rises up to nine meters high in places.

In the Coronado National Forest, which can only be reached by small dirt roads, the border before the arrival of the containers was limited only by a barbed wire fence.




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