A coalition of 16 states in the United States led by California sued President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday (local time) over his decision to declare a national emergency to obtain funds for building a wall along the US-Mexico border. The lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California came just days after Trump invoked emergency powers on Friday.
On Friday, Trump had invoked emergency powers on Friday after the Congress declined to fulfil his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall that was his signature 2016 campaign promise. The declaration of emergency would empower him to fund the construction of a massive wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country and curb drug smuggling. The move would help Trump get $5.6 billion for the construction of the wall that, he has asserted, is essential for national security.
“Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states. For most of us, the Office of the Presidency is not a place for theater,” added Becerra, a Democrat.
Attorney General Letitia James said in the lawsuit Monday that diverting funding from military construction and other programs to pay for a wall on the US-Mexico border threatens New York’s public safety and security infrastructure. All the states involved in the lawsuit have Democratic attorneys general.
Trump declared an emergency on Friday so he can shift billions of dollars to the border wall after Congress wouldn’t approve the amount he wanted.
Trump, a Republican, considers a wall a national security necessity. The lawsuit alleges he’s manufacturing a crisis and that his declaration is an “unconstitutional and unlawful scheme.” New York is home to Fort Drum and the US Military Academy.