Trump’s emergency wall funding declaration was ‘unlawful,’ court says

WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Texas Friday blocked an administration plan to use $3.6 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall construction, calling President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to secure the funds “unlawful.”

U.S. District Judge David Briones said Trump cannot use the declaration to get around the budget Congress approved in February that “restricts the amount and location of funding for border barrier construction.”

The lawsuit, one of many filed to stop the diversion of Defense Department money to the border wall, was brought by El Paso County, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights based there. They argued that Trump’s rhetoric has harmed the area’s reputation, costing the community important tourist revenues, and would divert $20 million from projects at nearby Fort Bliss.

“‘Fort Bliss is the lifeblood of the El Paso economy,’ contributing billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs,” Briones wrote.

Written with Megan U. Boyanton. Read more here.

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