19 states have banded together to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its recent allocation of $3.8 billion in defense funding for the border wall.
According to Luis Miguel of The New American, the argument these states made was that this action was unconstitutional and could bring about harmful environmental consequences.
“Use of these additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent and in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” read the lawsuit, filed on March 3, 2020 in federal court in California.
In 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to a large wave of migrants coming across the southern border.
In addition to the declaration, the president announced he would use Department of Defense (DOD) funds to build the border wall because Congress did not allocate the full amount he wanted in the federal budget.
The Pentagon revealed to Congress last month that it would transfer an additional $3.8 billion for the wall by drawing out money from weapons programs.
The 19 states sustain that the allocation is unconstitutional because it is in violation of the separation of powers and Congress’ power of the purse.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that using DOD funds negatively impacts communities whose economies depend on military spending.
The lawsuit reads:
Defense spending in Connecticut is critical not just to national military readiness but to Connecticut’s economy. The Administration’s planned funding diversions threaten to harm the State’s economy, employment, and tax revenues. As of 2017, annual defense spending injected $15 billion into Connecticut’s economy, accounting for 5.6 percent of the State’s per capita GDP — a higher percentage than in all but two other states.
DOD’s reprogramming action diverts funding away from critical military projects for which Connecticut-based companies produce key components.
Further, the states claim that the Trump administration did not factor in environmental impacts. They described the White House’s decision as a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“President Trump is risking the safety of every American by diverting taxpayer dollars from our military to fund the same xenophobic campaign promises he’s made for the last four years,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement.
Luis Miguel noted that in addition to New York, “the states participating in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.”
The suit also asserts that the wall will cause environmental damage in some of the states where it will be built.
“Defendants’ use of the diverted funds to construct parts of their border wall in New Mexico will also harm New Mexico’s sovereign interests by imposing environmental harm to the State. The environmental damage caused by a border wall in New Mexico would include the blocking of wildlife migration, flooding, and habitat loss,” the suit states.
Last week, the Sierra Club, American Civil Liberties Union, and Southern Border Communities Coalition also took legal action regarding the reallocation of funds for the wall.
“The president is doubling down on his unlawful scheme to raid taxpayer funds for a xenophobic campaign promise that is destroying national treasures, harming the environment, and desecrating tribal lands,” an ACLU attorney declared.
The Left is working overtime to derail President Trump’s America First agenda.
Immigration is the most crucial of our time.
This is one battle America First patriots cannot afford to lose
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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis
After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”
Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus”
Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 30, 2020
Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”
Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.
In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.
With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.
Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.
A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.
This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.
Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.
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