California sues Trump Administration over plan to build border wall

Gavin Newsom

California, with the support of 15 other states, is suing the Trump Administration over President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration over the United States-Mexico border and his attempt to fund the construction of a wall.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the attorney generals of 15 other states filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in the Northern District of California. The suit aims to block Trump’s declaration of emergency, as well as the planned construction of a border wall and use of federal funds to pay for it, on the grounds that the measures are unconstitutional.

“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up ‘national emergency’ in order to seize power and undermine the constitution,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “This ‘emergency’ is a national disgrace. Rather than focusing on fighting the real vulnerabilities facing Americans, the president is using the powers of America’s highest office to fan the flames of nativism and xenophobia. Our message to the White House is clear: California will not be part of this political theater. We will see you in court.”

Becerra made similar remarks, calling Trump’s national emergency fake and saying that the president is insulting the democratic principles enshrined in the constitution.

“We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by congress for the people of our states,” Becerra stated in a tweet. “For most of us, the office of the presidency is not a place for theater.”

The lawsuit alleges Trump is illegally diverting congressionally appropriated funds that are supposed to be used for other purposes. Likewise, the suit argues Trump’s emergency declaration is not based on facts.

Unlawful southern border entries are at the lowest level they have been in 20 years; immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes; and illegal drugs are more likely to enter the country through official ports of entry, a California Attorney General’s Office news release states. There is no credible evidence indicating a border wall would decrease crime rates, the AG’s office adds.

The states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia have joined the lawsuit.

In response to the lawsuit, Trump fired back at California’s leadership in pair of tweets Tuesday morning. 

“As I predicted, 16 states, led mostly by open border Democrats and the radical left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit,” Trump wrote. “California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control fast train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!”

Trump again criticized California’s high-speed rail project in the follow-up tweet.

“The failed fast train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed wall,” Trump wrote.