WASHINGTON (Reuters) – California will "imminently" challenge President Donald Trump's emergency statement to secure funds for a US-Mexican border wall, state attorney general Sunday said. , Xavier Becerra.
FILE PHOTO: The prototypes of the border wall of US President Donald Trump are visible behind the barrier between Mexico and the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico, January 7, 2019. REUTERS / Jorge Duenes / File Photo
"Absolutely and imminently," Becerra told ABC's "This Week" program when asked if and when California would sue the Trump administration in federal court. Other states controlled by the Democrats should join the effort.
"We are ready, we knew it could happen. And with our sister state partners, we are ready to go, "he said.
Trump invoked Friday's emergency powers under a 1976 law after Congress rejected his $ 5.7 billion request to help build the wall that was a campaign promise of 2016 .
The move is intended to allow him to redirect money earmarked by Congress for other purposes to building walls.
The White House said Trump would have access to about $ 8 billion. Nearly $ 1.4 billion was allocated to fencing at the border as part of a spending measure approved by Congress last week, and the Trump Emergency Declaration is aimed at to give him an additional $ 6.7 billion for the wall.
Becerra on Friday quoted Trump's own comment that he "did not need to do it" as proof that the emergency declaration was legally vulnerable.
"It has become clear that this is not an emergency, not just because no one believes it, but because Donald Trump himself said it was not the case," he said. -he declares.
Becerra and California Governor Gavin Newsom, both Democrats, should sue to block Trump's move.
Becerra told ABC that California and other states were waiting to find out which federal programs would lose money to determine the type of harm that states might suffer from the declaration.
He said that California could be affected by fewer federal funds for emergency response services, the military and drug trafficking.
"We are convinced that there are at least 8 billion ways to prove the harm done," said Becerra.
Three Texas landowners and an environmental group hired on Friday the first lawsuit against Trump's move, saying the bill violates the constitution and undermines their property rights.
The court challenges could at least slow down Trump's efforts to build the wall, but would likely result in a conservative US Supreme Court.
The Congress never defined a national emergency in the National Emergency Act of 1976, which has been invoked dozens of times without successful litigation.
Congressional Democrats vowed to challenge Trump's statement and several Republican lawmakers said they did not know whether they would support the president.
"I think many of us are concerned about this," Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, told NBC about "Meet the Press."
Trump could, however, veto any resolution of Congressional disapproval.
White House senior advisor Stephen Miller told Fox News Sunday that Trump's statement would allow the administration to build "hundreds of kilometers" of border walls by September 2020.
"We have about 120 kilometers under construction or already committed, plus the additional funds we have, and then we are going to spend them – we will go a few hundred kilometers."
The Wall proposed by Trump and broader immigration policies will likely be a major issue for the campaign for the next November 2020 presidential election, for which he will seek a second four-year term.
Reportage of David Morgan and David Lawder; Edited by Lisa Shumaker