California Attorney General Xavier Becerra held a press conference just steps away from the border with Mexico near San Diego to announce his plans to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the border wall, which he calls “medieval.” He believes there is sufficient reason to say that Trump’s administration has violated the law with their plans for California.
In the press conference, Becerra focused on how we can all be better neighbors to each other instead:
“I think as we see how the world is shrinking we realize we’ve all got to be good neighbors,” said Becerra, acknowledging the suffering today in Mexico City due to earthquakes, and in Puerto Rico, due to Hurricane Maria.
Becerra then got right down to it, discussing following the rules, and why doing so has made California one the strongest economic powers in the world. Ignoring the laws would harm California’s interests, economy, and natural resources –not to mention needlessly harm relations with their neighbors.
“Nobody can ignore the laws, not even the President of the United States,” said Becerra.
He alleged that the Department of Homeland Security would waive 37 Federal statutes and regulations related to the statutes, in addition to state and local California laws to build it.
Becerra claims the Trump administration violated several provisions of the Constitution, including the separation-of-powers doctrine and the 10th Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights defending the power of states. “The border between the US and Mexico spans some 2,000 miles,” said Becerra. Continuing, the California AG joked that, “The list of laws violated by the President’s administration in order to build his campaign wall is almost as long.”
Immigration policy enforced without respecting laws is now part of why this lawsuit is going after Trump, though Trump maintains, along with Attorney General Sessions, that their policy on immigration is based on “the impartial rule of law.”
“We respect immigration policy. We understand it’s a Federal matter, but if it happens in our backyard, we demand that it be carried out in the right way, following the rule of law,” said Becerra.
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) September 20, 2017
Coastal Commissioner Steve Padilla claims the wall would disrupt and disturb the valuable resources of the coastal region. The California Coastal Commission voted in August to ask the Attorney General to initiate the litigation to defend California laws and resources. Environmental impact studies will be required to comply with the law, but Trump has so far not complied:
“An ungodly amount of money would have to be spent on a wall that would be destructive to our environment, destructive to our relationship with Mexico, and actually provide no additional resources or feelings that somehow our borders are safer, ” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.
San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez also shared his support for the lawsuit, saying Trump’s wall was only to deliver a campaign pledge, but would harm the environment, do nothing for border safety, and do nothing to enhance the lives of residents at the border.
AG Becerra reinforced Alvarez, saying “I don’t think Donald Trump has made the transition from candidate Trump to leader Trump. He doesn’t understand yet that he has to follow the law in order to be President of the United States.”
The construction of the wall is also being contested by the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Legal Defense Fund in San Diego.
Sierra Club Sues For Trump's Border Wall Docs https://t.co/7yOwBz3H8y
— Environmental Law360 (@EnviroLaw360) September 14, 2017
What good is a border wall if it can’t be completed in California? Maybe a better question: What good is a wall if it serves only to divide people –people that are smart enough to know that medieval walls are not a solution in the modern world in the first place. It might seem like a good idea to people far away in a state like Idaho, but at the border, the residents of California living at the scene know the wall is unnecessary. It serves the interest of Trump to deliver on a campaign promise, and that’s about it.
See the press conference below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube