Ral Grijalva of Arizona joins Center for Biological Diversity in call for environmental analysis that could delay any building for several years
A US congressman and environmental group have filed the first lawsuit targeting Donald Trumps plan to build a 30 ft wall on the US-Mexico border.
The suit, was put forward by Congressman Ral M Grijalva of Arizona and the Center for Biological Diversity in the US district court for Arizona, seeks to require the government to undertake a comprehensive environmental effects analysis before beginning construction.
Such a review would probably take several years to complete, delaying indefinitely its implementation of one of Trumps signature campaign promises.
It will take a significant amount of time to thoroughly analyze[ the impacts of the wall ], and thats the point, announced Randy Serraglio, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity.
What we learned about the border wall in the past 10 times is that its tremendously expensive, it doesnt work, and it does a tremendous sum of damage, Serraglio announced. The people in the United States have the right to know what the damage “re gonna be all”, what its going to cost, and whether the government has going to be effective. Those are subjects the Trump administration is not interested in answering.
The lawsuit invokes the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires environmental review of major federal programs.
The Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, which are named as defendants, declined to comment on pending litigation.
Trump began his presidential campaign in June 2015 with the promise of international borders wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, whom he characterized as criminals and rapists. In the first week of his government, he signed an executive ordering calling for homeland security to begin immediate construction of the wall.
Homeland Security has since begun a bidding process for contractors to construct prototypes for the multibillion-dollar job. Still, a lack of interest from major building firms and a lack of funding from Congress may mean that the proposal never moves beyond a border wall beauty pageant expected to take place in San Diego this summer.
American environmental laws are some of the oldest and strongest in the world, and they should apply to the borderlands just as they do everywhere else, Grijalva, a Democrat, said in a statement. These laws exist to protect the health and well-being of our people, our wildlife, and the places they live. Trumps wall and his fanatical approach to our southern border will do little more than perpetuate human suffering while irrevocably shattering our public regions and the wildlife that depend on them.
Serraglio said the existing border barrier have really caused significant environmental damage, including flooding and corrosion.
In July 2008, a heavy thunderstorm grew a damaging flash flood at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona after the border barrier prevented liquid from flowing away naturally.
On the same day, border infrastructure was responsible for the deaths of two people and$ 8m in impairment to Nogales, Mexico, when liquid was trapped on countries of the south back of the border.
Expanding construction on the border could exacerbate the flooding difficulties, in addition to threatening the survival of species such as jaguars, ocelots, and wolves, Serraglio announced. Additional environmental degradation would probably be caused by the construction of new roads and infrastructure to enable construction of the wall in remote wilderness fields.
The Department of Homeland Security grew an environmental impact proclamation about border implementation the programmes in 2001.
Thursdays suit is not the first time Trumps plans have attracted legal challenges. Both of Trumps attempts to impose a travelling banning on several Muslim-majority countries have been blocked by federal magistrates. On 5 April, 17 nations sued to attempt to block Trumps efforts to rescind climate change regulations.
Whats happening now is not driven by any rational analysis of border protection requirements, announced Serraglio. Its driven by Donald Trumps ludicrous campaign rhetoric, and that is not a audio basis for public policy.
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