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Sixteen states sue Trump over national emergency using his own words

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Staff Writer |
Xavier Becerra
America   California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

Sixteen states, led by California, are challenging President Donald Trump over his decision to bypass Congress and enact a national emergency to build wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco Federal District Court Monday, attorneys general from each state argued it would be unconstitutional for the president to build his wall because Congress is vested with the power of the purse and did not approve funds for one.

Moreover, they claimed, Trump himself had downplayed the supposed crisis as nothing more than a personal frustration.

“Use of those additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent in violation of the U.S. Constitution […],” the attorneys general wrote.

“Such use would divert counter-drug programming funds directed to the states, and military construction funds to be spent in the states, for the nonappropriated purpose of constructing a border wall.

“Even if the Administration could constitutionally redirect funds toward the construction of the border wall, the Administration does not satisfy the criteria in the statutes that it invokes to enable it to do so.”

Specifically, the attorneys general pointed to the president’s own words as proof the “emergency” at the border really wasn’t an emergency at all, quoting statements he made a Rose Garden press conference days earlier.

“In explaining his rationale for the Executive Actions,” they wrote, “the President candidly admitted that the emergency declaration reflected his personal preference to construct the wall more quickly, rather than an actual urgent need for it to be built immediately: ‘I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster.'”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra reiterated this point in an interview with The New York Times Monday, saying, “Probably the best evidence [that there is no emergency at the border] is the president’s own words.”

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