February 18, 2019
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a lawsuit led by California Attorney General Becerra, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit challenges President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. In the complaint, the coalition of 16 states alleges 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.
“President Trump cannot sidestep our Constitution for a political ploy,” said AG Ford. “The Trump Administration’s proposed diversion of funds would waste billions of dollars that is dedicated to supporting our military and law enforcement agencies. I am proud to join this lawsuit to defend our Constitution, our state’s military bases, and Nevada’s law enforcement agencies.”
The complaint filed today alleges that President Trump’s emergency declaration is a pretext to justify redirecting congressionally-appropriated funds 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 their lowest point in twenty 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.
The states allege 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. 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 congressionally-appropriated funds at issue are intended to support military construction, including housing for military families, as well as law enforcement activities. The State of Nevada, home to Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base, Hawthorne Army Depot Base, and Naval Air Station Fallon, could suffer if funding is diverted to construction of a border wall. State and local law enforcement agencies also rely on several programs that the Trump Administration is seeking to divert. Should this funding be depleted, Nevada’s law enforcement agencies’ ability to combat drug trafficking here in Nevada could be hampered.
Joining Attorney General Ford in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.