Arizona border city threatens to sue Trump administration for covering its 20-foot border wall in 'lethal' razor wire

  • A city on the US-Mexico border says it will sue the Trump administration if it does not remove the razor wire that now covers the town’s 20-foot border wall.
  • The city council in Nogales, Arizona, called the wire an “indiscriminate use of lethal force by the federal government” that belongs only in a war zone or a prison.
  • The council said the wire, which covers the US side of the border and faces inward, threatened the safety of city residents as well as people who might try to climb over the wall .
  • US installed some wire in late 2018 but expanded it significantly this month. The wire now covers the entire height of the wall, which is about 20 feet tall.

The mayor of an Arizona border city has threatened to sue the Trump administration if miles of razor wire installed by US troops along a border wall with Mexico are not removed.

Arturo Garino, the mayor of Nogales, Arizona, delivered the ultimatum after the city council condemned the wire on Wednesday night, the Associated Press reported.

In an interview with the local Nogales International newspaper, Garino described the wire as “lethal.”

He criticised the federal government for adding additional wire in the past week so it now reaches “all the way down to the ground,” covering the full height of the wall on the US side, which stands some 20 feet, or 6 meters, tall.

The city council passed a resolution Wednesday night condemning the installation of the razor wire, which covers the wall in the city’s downtown area, and describing it as life-threatening.

Photos from the city show six rows of the wire covering the wall, which is 18 to 20 feet (5.5 to 6 meters) high, according to the council.

About 5 miles of the US-Mexico border falls within the Nogales city limits. It is not clear whether that entire length is covered by the wall and razor wire.

The resolution passed by the council describes the wire as an “indiscriminate use of lethal force by the federal government” that could harm or kill anyone who tries to scale the wall.

It said such wire “is only found in a war, prison or battle setting.”

The council also warned that the wire could harm the city’s residents.

Read more:
Here’s what would happen if Trump declared a national emergency to build his border wall

It said that “placing coiled concertina wire that is designed to inflict serious bodily injury or death in the immediate proximity of our residents, children, pets, law enforcement, and first responders is not only irresponsible but inhuman.”

It said the wire “is designed to entangle its victim as the razors slice/cut deeply into the flesh and causes indiscriminate injury which can be fatal.”

The council also said that “on any given day there are hundreds of law-abiding citizens from both countries crossing the border” and living near the border and that having such wire harmed life in the city and the local economy.

The wire was first erected in the town in November, according to the council. But soldiers began to install additional wire on Friday, resulting in the wire reaching the ground.

The council has now asked the federal government to take “immediate action” to remove all of the wire from the city’s limits.

Read more:
The Pentagon is sending another 3,750 troops to Southwest border in a mission that critics have called a political ploy

Customs and Border Protection said in a statement on Wednesday night that the extra wire was installed after it received a request for additional support for “high-risk urban areas commonly exploited by criminal smuggling organisations,” the Associated Press reported.

CBP did not say who made the request.

Garino told the news site Mother Jones before the council vote that he had contacted CBP before the wire additional wire was installed this month to ask why the wire was needed and why it was being put on the US side. Garino said that he normally had a good relationship with CBP but that “they didn’t want to take my call.”

In November, President Donald Trump said the wire was being installed to prevent people from climbing over the wall.

The Nogales City Council’s vote came one day after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, where he reiterated his belief that the US needed a border wall.

A few days earlier, the Pentagon said it would send 3,750 more troops to put up another 150 miles of concertina wire at the US-Mexico border.

Business Insider has contacted the Nogales Mayor’s Office for comment.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.