The expected backlash over President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration in order to secure funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall has mounted, with 16 states filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of California late Monday.
California, as well as Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia are all named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit which seeks to block the “unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds,” ABC News reports.
“Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power. We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “For most of us, the Office of the Presidency is not a place for theatre.”
According to NBC News, Becerra’s statement called the president’s declaration a “hyped crisis”, lashing out at the president’s fear-mongering about criminal immigrants as well as the transportation of drugs.
“Unlawful southern border entries are at their lowest point in 20 years, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry,” the attorney general’s statement said.
Indeed, this is going just about as well as anyone expected, that is, not well at all. But it was clear from the start that many, including Republicans, were not enthused by Trump’s plan which was reportedly looking to reallocate more than $6 billion in federal funds, alongside the $1.375 billion Congress approved for 55 miles of new physical barriers (which was meant to be a compromise) to build the wall that the president just can’t seem to let go of.
“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,” Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of the first to speak out against the national emergency, said Monday according to ABC. “Our message to the White House is clear: California will not be part of this political theater. We will see you in court.”
“The only national emergency is the president’s trafficking in lies and deceit,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement earlier Monday, NBC reports.