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Environmental group asks to join lawsuit over shipping containers on border

Border containers
AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File
Border Patrol agents patrol along a line of shipping containers stacked near the border on Aug. 23, 2022, near Yuma, Ariz. The Cocopah Indian Tribe is welcoming the federal government's call for the state of Arizona to remove a series of double-stacked shipping containers placed along the U.S.-Mexico border near the desert city of Yuma, saying they are unauthorized and violate U.S. law.

An environmental group has asked a federal judge for permission to join the Biden administration as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Gov. Doug Ducey.

The governor is challenging federal authority on the U.S.-Mexico border by defending his stacking of thousands of shipping containers on public land to fill gaps in the border wall.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the containers block critical migratory paths for species like jaguars and ocelots protected under the Endangered Species Act and block hundreds of ephemeral streams and washes.

Ducey sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last month after the agencies ordered the removal of the containers near Yuma.

Ducey has said the containers are a response to what he calls the Biden administration’s inaction to prevent illegal immigration on the border.