A coalition of 20 states filed a motion Friday to block President Donald Trump from using his national emergency declaration as a means to divert federal funding from other purposes and build a border wall.
The coalition, led by California, claims Trump’s actions are unconstitutional, The Hill reported.
“Notwithstanding the president’s expressed frustration with Congress and the legislative process, he must act in accordance with the procedures established in the Constitution to obtain funding for his border wall,” the filing reads.
Congressional Democrats sought to block the emergency declaration, but Trump vetoed a resolution that cleared the House and Senate. The House failed in its effort to override the veto so the veto override vote never got to the Senate.
That leaves the courts as the only way Trump’s opponents can block the declaration. House Democrats have launched their own legal fight separate from the states’ action.
The states want a preliminary injunction, which would prevent Trump from acting until the lawsuit is decided.
“President Trump’s cynical actions threaten our democratic institutions and core constitutional principles. We have a responsibility to stand up and say no,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday while announcing the motion, according to KTVN.
“The executive branch’s power is not unlimited. Congress, which holds the power of the purse, has twice rejected this senseless notion of wasting billions of dollars on a Trump campaign proposal. President Trump’s unconstitutional maneuver to divert funding for his own political benefit violates the Constitution and places Americans and critical services they depend on at risk,” Becerra said.
The California attorney general downplayed any crisis at the border.
“President Trump says his goal is to protect America, but you have to ask, from what?” Becerra also said, according to the Courthouse News Service. “Any crisis at the border is of President Trump’s own making. Whether out of ignorance, cruelty or a deliberate self-fulfilling agenda, President Trump’s policies exacerbate any issues at our border.”
Trump calls on Congress to “get rid of the whole asylum system” because “it doesn’t work.”
“Frankly, we should get rid of judges,” he adds. pic.twitter.com/5s8kI9mbHR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 5, 2019
“Since our founding, this country has been a place of refuge – a safe haven for people fleeing tyranny, oppression and violence. His words show a total disregard of the Constitution, our justice system, and what it means to be an American,” Newsom said in a statement.
During a visit to the border town of Calexico, California, on Friday, Trump fired back his reply.
“Governor Newsom, honestly, is living in a different world. And that’s a very dangerous world he’s living in. And if he keeps living there, lots of problems for the people of California. They don’t want that,” Trump said, according to a White House media pool report.
“They want to be secure. They want to be safe. And not only asylum, but many other things. Loopholes. When you have asylum substation where rough, tough people with criminal records are asking for asylum, it doesn’t work that way. So we have a full system. Nothing we can do,” Trump said.
Trump was joined at the event by Margaret Mims, sheriff of Fresno, California.
“An uncontrolled, unsecure border directly affects our local communities. And without a secure border, transnational gangs, human traffickers, and drug cartels will take advantage of any opportunity to exploit our current border crisis to further their criminal behavior in our local communities.
“We’ve experienced this firsthand. We have seen increased fentanyl traffickers and deaths in the Central Valley of California as a result of fentanyl overdoses,” she said.
“Mr. President, there is a border crisis. And this crisis does not stay at the border. It trickles into our local communities, stretching the resources of local agencies. We must do everything we can to protect our communities from this threat. Border security is more important now than ever,” she said.
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