Judge Blocks Emergency $1 Billion for Border Wall

TOPSHOT - A Border Patrol officer sits inside his car as he guards the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona, on February 9, 2019. (Photo by Ariana Drehsler / AFP) (Photo credit should read ARIANA DREHSLER/AFP/Getty Images)
ARIANA DREHSLER/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge in Oakland, California, is blocking a $1 billion portion of President Donald Trump’s $8 billion emergency budget for building the border wall.

The blocked project used $1 billion allocated by Congress for anti-drug accounts. The preliminary injunction will apply while the judge fully considers the lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, which includes leaders from pro-migration and environmental groups, as well as from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“Plaintiffs also have shown a likelihood of success as to their argument that Defendants fail to meet the ‘unforeseen military requirement’ condition for the reprogramming of funds under Section 8005,” said the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam.

The administration’s “argument that the need for the requested border barrier construction funding was ‘unforeseen’ cannot logically be squared with the Administration’s multiple requests for funding for exactly that purpose dating back to at least early 2018,” he added.

The lawsuit also suggested that another $1.5 billion may be blocked because, in part, “the Court finds that Plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of irreparable harm to their members’ aesthetic and recreational interests in the areas known as El Paso Sector Project 1 and Yuma Sector Project 1.”

Gilliam was nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2014.

The case is Sierra Club, v. Trump, No. 19-cv-00892-HSG in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The decision can be read here.

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