California Plans to Sue Trump Administration Over Border Wall
California has been one of the most uncooperative states when it comes to President Donald Trump’s policies.
California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday his latest anti-Trump move– he plans to sue the Trump administration over the border wall.
Trump promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of his push for stricter immigration policies.
Experts have said that the wall will cost roughly $22 billion and will take over three years to finish. However, Trump has said that Mexico will end up paying for it in some way or another.
Last month, the Trump administration had selected four construction companies to create prototypes for the wall, which was supposed to be tested in San Diego. The prototypes, which will be roughly 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide, are expected to be complete by the end of October.
But Becerra plans to attempt to halt this planned project in San Diego, along with ones in imperial counties. The attorney general is traveling to Border Field State Park near San Diego to announce the lawsuit.
“The lawsuit, which includes the California Coastal Commission as a plaintiff, states its purpose is “to protect the State of California’s residents, natural resources, economic interests, procedural rights, and sovereignty from violations of the United States Constitution” and federal law. It adds that the wall would have a chilling effect on tourism to the United States from Mexico,” writes LA Times. “The state’s lawsuit alleges that the Trump administration has failed to comply with federal and state environmental laws and relied on federal statutes that don’t authorize the proposed projects. The brief alleges the federal government violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine “by vesting in the Executive Branch the power to waive state and local laws, including state criminal law.”
The lawsuit claims that the Department of Homeland Security did not comply with the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act prior to prepping building plans.
Becerra has expressed his disapproval of the wall, which he refers to as “medieval,” multiple times in the past.
“I’m still trying to figure out who believes that a medieval situation to fix our broken immigration system is what we need,” said Becerra. “I think American taxpayers probably are very much aligned with Mexico. None of them, whether it’s Mexico or our taxpayers, wants to pay for a medieval wall.”
Becerra has started a legal battle by filing over two dozen lawsuits against the Trump administration.
But he isn’t the only one trying to hinder the border wall plans.
Last week, three advocacy groups, including the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Legal Defense Fund, all sued the federal government citing that the Trump administration overstepped its authority while preparing to build the wall prototypes.
These groups also argue that the project will have a devastating impact on the environment.
“An impenetrable border wall would divide wildlife and their habitat as well as families and communities across the border,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife. “It would bisect and isolate important Southwestern landscapes, pushing borderland wildlife like Peninsular bighorn sheep, jaguars and ocelots to the brink of extinction.”
On a state level, California Democrats have aggressively pushed bills fighting Trump’s wall proposal.
“A bill that would have banned state government contracts for any company that helps build the wall passed the state Senate, but stalled recently in an Assembly committee,” writes LA Times. “Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) authored the bill, testifying at a committee hearing that “the wall is another attempt to separate and divide us. It sends a message that we are better off in a homogenous society.”
Author’s note: California’s Democrats may be doing all they can to hinder the border wall plans, but it will likely be wasted energy. Building the wall was one of Trump’s major promises on the campaign trail and he is relentless. Not to mention, the supreme court has a conservative majority.