Nevada joins effort to block funds for border wall
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced his office, with a coalition of 20 states, has filed a motion to block the Trump administration’s attempt to unlawfully divert $1.6 billion in federal funds to build a border wall.
The motion was filed in the Northern District of California as part of the coalition’s ongoing lawsuit challenging President Trump’s action to divert funding and resources meant for law enforcement, drug interdiction and military construction projects.
With this motion, the attorneys general request the court immediately halt the administration’s attempt to divert the $1.6 billion in funds Congress intended for state and local law enforcement agencies.
“Today we’re making good on our promise to protect state and national funds reserved for our military and law enforcement agencies,” said Ford. “This motion addresses President Trump’s complete disregard for the will of Congress and separation of powers principles engrained in the U.S. Constitution.”
In their motion, the attorneys general argue by declaring a state of emergency, the administration is attempting to ultimately divert even more funding, up to $6.7 billion, in funding through the Department of Treasury’s Forfeiture Fund, the Department of Defense’s counterdrug account, and military construction projects. These actions pose significant harm to the states, who have relied on Treasury Forfeiture Funds to purchase needed law enforcement equipment, staffing and support of ongoing operations, Ford’s press release stated.
The coalition also argues the administration’s actions to divert funding:
Lack statutory authority because the federal government can’t 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.
Nevada joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to create a border wall Feb. 18.
Other attorneys general represented in this action include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.