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California Suing Trump Over Border Wall

by Countable | 9.20.17

What’s the story?

On Wednesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the Golden State will sue the Trump administration over the President’s planned "big beautiful wall" with Mexico.

The lawsuit is meant "to protect the State of California’s residents, natural resources, economic interests, procedural rights, and sovereignty from violations of the United States Constitution" and violations of federal law.

"As a result," the Los Angeles Times reported, “the lawsuit alleges the federal government lacks proper environmental analysis of the impact of 400-foot prototypes of the wall currently planned, as well as the 2,000-mile-long final wall.”

Why does it matter?

Countable has previously reported on how the Trump administration is waiving a plethora of environmental regulations to construct prototype walls in San Diego and a section of wall in Calexico. To expedite construction of the latter, The Department of Homeland Security waived 28 environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Archeological Resources Protection Act, and Endangered Species Act.

The state’s lawsuit questions the constitutionality of these waivers. As the L.A. Times explains, the brief alleges that the "government violated the U.S. Constitution's separation-of-powers doctrine ‘by vesting in the Executive Branch the power to waive state and local laws, including state criminal law.’"

The lawsuit also specifically calls out DHS for deciding to build the walls without complying with the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act.

Regarding the Calexico wall, DHS said in an earlier statement that "while the waiver eliminates DHS’s obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, the Department remains committed to environmental stewardship with respect to these projects."

The state AG wasn’t convinced. In a statement on Wednesday, Becerra said:

"The Trump administration has once again ignored laws it doesn't like in order to resuscitate a campaign talking point to build a wall on our southern border. President Trump has yet to pivot from candidate Trump to leader of a nation built on the rule of law. That's dangerous."

Trump, however, remains committed to fulfilling his campaign promise. Only last week, the President tweeted:

"The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built."

The lawsuit requests that the court stop DHS "from engaging in any and all planning, design and construction activities related to installing barriers along the [U.S.-Mexico] border, including the construction of prototypes" until the agency fully complies with all environmental laws and federal guidelines.

What do you think?

Is DHS right to waive environmental laws to expedite construction of a border wall? Or is the wall a threat to the people and environment of California? Hit the Take Action button, tell your reps, then comment below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: mdurson / iStockphoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(239)
  • Curt
    09/20/2017
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    Repairing the existing border walls/fences is one thing. Improving the usefulness and look of existing barriers is fine. Spending billions and damaging the environment in areas that have been determined low risk for decades and reviewed constantly makes no logical sense. A wall is a waste of tax dollars. Gangs, drug dealers and terrorists don't waste their time walking though the desert. They fly in, sail in and drive in.

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  • Deirdre
    09/20/2017
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    Glad that California is suing trump. No wall at all.

    Like (95)
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  • Nancy
    09/21/2017
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    Glad California is doing this. May more states follow

    Like (79)
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  • Ryan
    09/21/2017
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    This wall will do nothing if it is built. Think about it, the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall. What do they have in common? They both attempted to keep people out, but we know that they failed. Why are we trying to repeat history? In addition, the wall will just be an incentive to find alternative routes to get into the U.S. Instead of wasting all that money on a useless concrete structure, invest that money into healthcare, education, science, something that will benefit the entire country.

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  • Betty
    09/21/2017
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    We do not need a wall. Talk about a waste of money!! We need Affordable Care Act with changes

    Like (52)
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  • Stephanie
    09/20/2017
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    Let's get some Lawsuits against Trump.

    Like (44)
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  • Abbi
    09/20/2017
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    Good! That useless wall will do nothing to stop people from climbing it, it will destroy the environment (as well as property it will cut through including farms) it will hurt wildlife that have basically have dual citizenship and rely on migrating back and fourth. trump is abusing his power (what else is new?) so good for California for standing up! Oh and for all the uninformed who want this wall, why don't you ask the people who's family farms it'll cut through what they think? We already have a wall! The money will come out of your taxes, meals on wheels, fuel assistance and social programs that help YOU! Mexico Ain't paying for it, Corporate America ain't paying for it, Trump damn sure ain't paying for it! it's coming out stuff we all need! And Mexico came here twice to help us during hurricanes did we help them find people in the quakes? We are the bad neighbors maybe they should build a wall against us! But they won't cause it's stupid!

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  • Ann
    09/20/2017
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    No wall!!

    Like (39)
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  • Dale
    09/20/2017
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    No wall.

    Like (33)
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  • Dexter
    09/20/2017
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    The rest of America needs to sue California for being a nuisance.

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  • Susan
    09/21/2017
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    Hooray for California! The voice of reason. No wall. A total waste of money and an environmental disaster. I love our culturally and ethnically rich country!

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  • Pamela
    09/21/2017
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    Good. I hope California wins - or at least slows the wall down long enough to see 45 impeached and the whole damn thing scrapped!!!

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  • AlexaB
    09/21/2017
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    California, you're doing great sweetie

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  • Kodiwodi
    09/21/2017
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    The wall doesn't work. Terrorists aren't coming over the wall. Drug dealers now build super tunnels or parachute the product in. Coyotes just charge more and go to less guarded places. In the meantime taxpayers get stuck paying millions for something that does not work, adds to pollution, harms wildlife and makes Coyotes and drug dealers richer. Thank God California is going to court. I hope they win and this nonsense stops.

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  • Daniel
    09/21/2017
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    I wish all the states would join the suit

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  • ComeyIsMyHomey
    09/21/2017
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    I love how people make a big deal of "librul tears" and yet it's always conservative tears I see whenever our government is working as intended. California has every right to challenge this environmentally destructive, taxpayer-funded, racially motivated waste of a wall. The President is subject to checks and balances just like any other part of our government. He does not get to implement policy unchecked. So instead of complaining about "liberal California," how about you let our state and federal governments work?

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  • Azrael
    09/20/2017
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    They forgot the wall is a waste of taxpayer dollars America first????? Florida needs our help Texas needs our help The plains states need our help The western states burning need our help Why the frig are we wasting funds on idiotic walls when our fellow citizens need help now Anyone with an ounce of grey matter left know the universal truth, we must help those less fortunate

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  • Cary
    09/21/2017
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    I’m not Trumps biggest fan, and I’m not positive that the Wall is the answer. But the more Liberal California bitches, the more I think it’s the right thing to do. Go Trump..... build the wall.

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  • James
    09/20/2017
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    Putting aside the fact the idea of building a wall has zero merit, it is clear that trump is violating the constitution. Trump is a little man with an insatiable ego that must be fed. This wall feeds that ego. A total waste of money.

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  • Sandra
    09/21/2017
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    As a proud native of California I say thank you for taking the lead. Urge other border states to follow suit. NO to this moronic wall idea.

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