DE AG Jennings Joins 20 States to Block Funding of Border Wall

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20 states file motion for preliminary injunction to safeguard the environment and preserve law enforcement funding

Attorney General Kathy Jennings has joined a coalition of 20 states in a motion to block the Trump Administration’s attempt to unlawfully divert $1.6 billion in federal funds toward construction of a border wall.

The motion, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and joined by Delaware and 18 other states, was filed Friday morning in the Northern District of California. It is the latest development in a multi-state coalition’s ongoing lawsuit challenging President Trump’s unconstitutional action to divert funding and resources meant for law enforcement, drug interdiction, and military construction projects.

“The president is subject to the separation of powers, whether it comes from Congress, the Courts, or both,” said Attorney General Jennings. “From the president’s transparently contrived emergency declaration, to his attempts to siphon funds from the military and law enforcement, this Administration’s utter disregard for our system’s most basic principles has created a dangerous spectacle that is doing more to undermine our security than to protect us.”

The motion requests that the Court immediately stop the diversion of $1.6 billion in funding that Congress appropriated for state and local law enforcement agencies, and asserts that President Trump’s unlawful executive actions disregarded the will of Congress and the separation of powers principles in the U.S. Constitution. The Trump Administration is attempting to ultimately divert up to $6.7 billion in funding for construction of a border wall. Delaware in particular could face potential impacts including the diversion of military construction resources and equitable share funds.                                                                                                                                        The coalition also argues that the Trump Administration’s actions to divert funding:

  • Lack statutory authority because the federal government cannot satisfy the criteria it relies on for diversion of the funds and resources;
  • Violate the U.S. Constitution’s bedrock separation of powers principles by attempting to usurp Congress’s appropriation powers;
  • Disregard the National Environmental Policy Act by proceeding with construction plans in New Mexico without preparing the required environmental impact statement; and
  • Pose imminent environmental harm to environmentally sensitive areas on the border of New Mexico where construction of the border wall is imminent.