Arizona Border Barrier Found Knocked Over, Damage Leads Officials to Suspect Foul Play

Arizona officials suspect foul play after a portion of the state’s temporary border barrier was mysteriously toppled over in the middle of the night.

Photos of the scene, taken by Univision Noticias Arizona correspondent Claudia Ramos, showed that part of the temporary border barrier — which was made up of shipping containers that had been stacked on top of each other and welded together — was lying on its side away from the rest of the barrier.

Construction crews at the site initially claimed that the containers had been knocked over by the wind, while a spokesperson for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) disagreed — arguing that, while the state frequently experiences high winds, it is highly unlikely that the wind was strong enough to topple the barrier.

“The idea that it was a weather-related event seems unlikely,” the governor’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. “These things weigh 8,800 pounds. There were two of them together — 8,800 pounds is basically the weight of a Ford F-450. We have a lot of strong winds in Arizona. You don’t see a lot of Ford F-450s flying around when we have strong winds.”

According to reporting from the Washington Examiner, border patrol agents discovered the barrier had been knocked over at around midnight on Monday.

The barriers on one end of the wall had not yet been bolted down and welded to the support structures on Sunday evening when the work crews left the site.

Speaking with Ramos, construction crews asserted that severe weather on Sunday was the likely culprit behind the container’s sudden fall. But the evidence did not support that claim.

Photos of the damaged barrier, which were shared with the Washington Examiner, showed that the container was severely scratched and dented. There was also at least one large puncture at the bottom of the container. None of this damage appears to be consistent with weather damage.

The damage “shows some sort of equipment was used to move them because it dented and put a hole in one of the sides of the container,” Karamargin said in a statement to the New York Post. “That doesn’t happen with wind.”

Border patrol agents, citing “heavy activity” in the area, initially barred construction crews from heading back to the site to resume work and secure the barrier. They were later allowed to return at approximately 6 a.m. local time, and finished reinstalling the barrier by 7 a.m., according to the Washington Examiner.

Karamargin noted that the effort to topple the barrier was proof that the plan to construct a barrier was necessary and worthwhile.

“Some people attempted to dismiss this as a pointless effort because this is not the main route through which people enter the United States,” he said. “If this didn’t matter, if this barrier that we are erecting was irrelevant, or somehow misplaced, then why would someone make the effort to topple over nearly 18,000 pounds of shipping container? It just doesn’t make sense on its face. It doesn’t make sense. Our goal, of course, is to make Arizona communities safer. We clearly struck a nerve.”

The shipping containers were part of an improvised border barrier that Arizona decided to construct while the state waits for the Biden administration to build a permanent wall. President Joe Biden recently reversed course on his initial promise that “there will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration,” as the White House announced that it would be filling several gaps in the border wall in Arizona.

The temporary barrier, which stands about 22 feet high and fills a 1,000-foot gap in the border wall, is made up of about sixty 9×40 foot shipping containers, which are double-stacked and welded together, and have been topped with razor wire. The construction of the temporary wall was announced by Ducey last Friday, and it was completed over the weekend.

Arizona is continuing to build more of the border wall while it waits for the Biden administration to keep its word.