Attorneys General for the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin have joined a coalition of 20 states challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes, the office of California AG Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday.
The coalition alleges that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The group seeks to block the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally appropriated funds.
“The addition of these members to our coalition makes us even stronger. It illustrates the extent to which President Trump’s fake National Emergency declaration will harm our communities and services nationwide,” Becerra said. “In America, no one is above the law. It’s a lesson the President has yet to learn. This group of attorneys general will stand together to block him from attempting to usurp funding meant for our families and communities through an unwarranted and unconstitutional emergency declaration.”
The complaint amended Wednesday alleges that the Trump Administration’s action declaring a national emergency due to a purported border crisis is unlawful and unconstitutional.
According to the coalition, President Trump’s hyped crisis is a pretext to justify redirecting congressionally appropriated funds to pay to build a wall along the southern border after he failed to get Congress — or Mexico — to pay for it.
The facts do not support President Trump’s rhetoric or his declaration. Unlawful southern border entries are at historic lows, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry. There is no credible evidence to suggest that a border wall would decrease crime rates.
The coalition alleges that the Trump Administration’s action exceeds the power of the executive office, violates the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, and would illegally and unconstitutionally divert federal funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to block the emergency declaration, the construction of the wall, and any illegal diversion of congressionally-appropriated funds.
The coalition led by Attorney General Becerra includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.