Attorney General Becerra Files Motion to Permanently Prevent the Trump Administration from Diverting Funds to Construct Border Barrier in California, New Mexico
Motion would decide whether President Trump’s diversion of $2.5 billion is unlawful
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion for partial summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The motion is filed on behalf of California and New Mexico in their challenge to President Trump’s fabricated national emergency and illegal diversion of funding. In the motion, the states ask the court to enter judgment in favor of their claims that President Trump illegally diverted $2.5 billion in funding to construct a border barrier on the southern borders of California and New Mexico. The states argue that the Trump Administration is using funds neither authorized nor appropriated by Congress for border wall construction. Further, California’s and New Mexico’s environment, wildlife, and natural resources would suffer extensive and irreparable harm from the diversion of funding towards construction of a border barrier.
“Our president doesn’t get to break the law just because he doesn’t like the rules,” said Attorney General Becerra. “President Trump’s schemes are blocked by the courts, repeatedly, because they are unlawful. We’ve challenged his cynical actions, not only because they threaten our democratic institutions and constitutional principles, but also because they cause irreparable harm to our states.”
This action comes one day after the state coalition filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Sierra Club, et al. v. Trump, et al., in a related lawsuit challenging President Trump’s unlawful diversion of funds toward construction of a border wall.
Attorney General Becerra has led the charge to stand up to President Trump’s illegal attempt to divert funding toward construction of a border wall. In February 2019, on President’s Day, Attorney General Becerra and California Governor Gavin Newsom, leading a coalition of 16 states, filed the lawsuit to challenge the President’s attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. Just a month later, the coalition welcomed four additional states, bringing the coalition to 20 states. The coalition includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. On April 4, 2019, the coalition filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block the Trump Administration from initiating an unlawful diversion of $1 billion in funds to build an unauthorized border wall. On May 24, 2019 the federal district court blocked the action on behalf of Sierra Club, et al. Today, the coalition files a motion for partial summary judgment to resolve the states’ claim that the President Trump unlawfully diverted a total of $2.5 billion to begin construction of a wall in El Centro, California, and in New Mexico.
A copy of the motion can be found here.