Arizona refuses U.S. demand to remove shipping containers from border
LANSING, MI — The U.S. government on Friday demanded the removal of five shipping containers that have been parked on Michigan’s northern border with Canada to house immigrants, but Gov. Rick Snyder rejected the request saying it was not necessary.
The containers, which are currently located at the international border in Kentwood, sit on the grounds of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Michigan office in the city. They are awaiting permission from the state’s Department of Natural Resources Division of Highways to go to a new location.
“This is something that we would have had to bring up with the governor at first,” Rep. Tim Greimel, R-White Lake, said Friday afternoon. “I don’t want to see the governor give in to pressure. This isn’t necessary, it’s a political stunt.”
The governor’s office declined to comment on the dispute Friday, citing its right to withhold information from the media.
The containers are the latest in a growing number of political problems facing Snyder.
The governor was criticized for delaying action on the state’s budget due to what he said was his disagreement with the federal government on healthcare issues.
Snyder said Friday the state does not have a problem paying for the immigrants in the containers, saying the people inside will be there for three years, and the state will make up the difference.
“So they are there now, they came on a boat, they’re legal,” Snyder said.
Snyder said if the state had known the containers were on the property, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality would have ordered them down.
“I can’t let them use my department’s resources or money for that, so we’re going to let them use the resources of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, but we’re going to let them use the resources of the people of Detroit for their services,” Snyder said.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office told MLive-Detroit that the state intends to file a complaint with U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman, who oversees the U.S