The Department of Justice filed suit today seeking a court order to immediately halt further construction of Gov. Doug Ducey’s makeshift cargo container wall in Coronado National Forest along the U.S.-Mexico border. The wall there is now almost four miles long. 

The federal government told U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich in Phoenix today that the containers “damage federal lands, threaten public safety, and impede the ability of federal agencies and officials, including law enforcement personnel, to perform their official duties.”

The DOJ wants to remove the containers and bill the state of Arizona for the cost involved. 

As reported last Friday on the PRT website, work has already stopped at the site in the San Rafael Valley due to protests by a small but growing group of activists. The group has established a 24/7 camp near the construction site to monitor activity, and are blocking any work by placing themselves in front of the wall workers’ heavy machinery. 

The protesters’ actions, which started Nov. 29 in the Cochise County site, received a high-profile boost from Sheriff David Hathaway of neighboring Santa Cruz County over the last ten days. Hathaway visited the site personally last Wednesday to offer his gratitude to protesters, and gave extended interviews to media outlets sharing his frustration over the federal government’s seeming unwillingness to stop what he called “clearly illegal activity” by the Arizona state government. 

No hearing for the DOJ’s lawsuit has been set.