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NY Joins 15 States In Lawsuit Challenging Trump Emergency Declaration

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Photo Credit: The White House

New York has joined 15 other states in a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s so-called “contrived” declaration of a National Emergency at the southern border.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced this week that she has filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court challenging the president’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. 

In the complaint, which was filed by Attorneys General from 15 other states, they allege that “the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful.”

The states seek to block the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds. 

“Declaring a National Emergency when one does not exist is immoral and illegal,” James stated. “Diverting necessary funds from real emergencies, crime-fighting activities, and military construction projects usurps Congressional power and will hurt Americans across the country. We will not stand for this abuse of power and will fight using every tool at our disposal.” 

The complaint filed on Monday, Feb. 18 alleges that the Trump Administration’s action declaring a national emergency due to a purported border crisis is unlawful and unconstitutional.

“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 complaint states. “The facts do not support President Trump’s rhetoric or his declaration.

“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. There is no credible evidence to suggest that a border wall would decrease crime rates.”

The states allege that Trump’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. It uses the president's own words to counter his actions.

“At a press conference announcing the Executive Actions, President Trump acknowledged that Congress provided more than enough funding for homeland security and that the Administration has ‘so much money, we don’t know what to do with it,’” the AGs stated, quoting Trump during his announcement of the emergency.

“(Trump) 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.’”

Other states to join in the lawsuit, which was filed in California, include: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Virginia.   

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