Work crews have steadily erected hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers topped by razor wire along Arizona’s remote eastern boundary with Mexico in a bold show of border enforcement by Gov. Doug Ducey as he prepares to leave office, the Associated Press reports. Until protesters slowed, then largely halted the work in recent days, Ducey, a Republican, pressed forward over the objections of U.S. government officials, environmentalists and an incoming governor who has called it a poor use of resources. Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs said she was “looking at all the options” and hasn’t decided what to do about the containers after her Jan. 5. inauguration. She previously suggested the containers be repurposed as affordable housing, an increasingly popular option for homeless and low-income people.
“I don’t know how much it will cost to remove the containers and what the cost will be,” Hobbs told Phoenix PBS TV station KAET. Federal agencies have told Arizona the construction on U.S. land is unlawful and ordered it to halt. Ducey responded by suing federal officials over their objections, sending the dispute to court. Environmental groups say the containers could imperil natural water systems and endanger species.