Nineteen states have joined together to sue the Trump administration over its recent diversion of $3.8 billion in defense funding for the border wall, making the case that doing so is unconstitutional and could bring dire environmental consequences.
“Use of these additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent and in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” read the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in California.
Last year, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to massive number of “migrants” crossing our southern border, most of them Central Americans seeking asylum status in the United States — although many of those crossing the border were, in fact, economic migrants.
Along with the declaration, the president announced he would use Department of Defense (DOD) funds to construct the border wall because Congress did not allocate the full amount he had desired in the federal budget.
The Pentagon informed Congress this month that it would make a transfer of an additional $3.8 billion for the wall by using money from weapons programs.
The argument made by the 19 states is that the allocation is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers and Congress’ power of the purse.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs make the case that using DOD funds hurts communities whose economies are dependent on military spending.
The lawsuit reads:
Defense spending in Connecticut is critical not just to national military readiness but to Connecticut’s economy. The Administration’s planned funding diversions threaten to harm the State’s economy, employment, and tax revenues. As of 2017, annual defense spending injected $15 billion into Connecticut’s economy, accounting for 5.6 percent of the State’s per capita GDP — a higher percentage than in all but two other states.
DOD’s reprogramming action diverts funding away from critical military projects for which Connecticut-based companies produce key components.
Additionally, the states claim the Trump administration did not adequately take into consideration environmental impacts, describing the White House’s move as a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a federal environmental law.
“President Trump is risking the safety of every American by diverting taxpayer dollars from our military to fund the same xenophobic campaign promises he’s made for the last four years,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement.
In addition to New York, the states participating in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The suit also claims that the wall will cause environmental harm in some of the states where it will be built.
“Defendants’ use of the diverted funds to construct parts of their border wall in New Mexico will also harm New Mexico’s sovereign interests by imposing environmental harm to the State. The environmental damage caused by a border wall in New Mexico would include the blocking of wildlife migration, flooding, and habitat loss,” the suit reads.
Last week, the Sierra Club, American Civil Liberties Union, and Southern Border Communities Coalition also sued over the reallocation of funds for the wall.
“The president is doubling down on his unlawful scheme to raid taxpayer funds for a xenophobic campaign promise that is destroying national treasures, harming the environment, and desecrating tribal lands,” an ACLU attorney said.
TNA has previously explored the constitutionality of reallocating military funds for use on wall construction.
The president’s move certainly falls within his constitutional authority as commander-in-chief. Using military funds for the wall is not even, as many would classify it, “diverting funds,” as the wall’s very function is military in nature — protecting the national border from invasion.
As immigration hardliner Ann Coulter noted to Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, the construction of walls has been one of the most basic activities of militaries throughout history, including American history.
“Of course you can build a wall,” Coulter said. “That is most of what the military did for the first 100 years. We weren’t going around remaking the rest of the world. It was the military building forts on our border. Defending American borders is the number one job of the commander-in-chief.”
In fact, the U.S. military regularly builds walls in other countries. Somehow, the construction of border barriers on lands thousands of miles away is considered essential to our national security, but building them on our own border is not.
Photo: AP Images
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.