RICHMOND (March 13, 2019)—Attorney General Mark R. Herring today welcomed four additional Attorneys General to the growing coalition of states challenging President Trump’s unfounded declaration of a national emergencyand his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. The coalition alleges that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The group seeks 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’s national emergency is so dangerous and obviously contrived that even members of his own party are opposing it,” said Attorney General Herring. “We cannot allow his abuse of authority and diversion of resources to go unchallenged, especially when it could harm and divert funds from Virginia and other states.”
The complaint amended today alleges that the Trump Administration’s action declaring a national emergency due to a purported border crisis is unlawful and unconstitutional. President Trump’s hyped crisis is a pretext to justify redirecting congressionally-appropriated funds to pay 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 within historic lows, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry. There is no credible evidence to suggest that a border wall would decrease crime rates.
The coalition alleges 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 for other purposes. 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.
In addition to Attorney General Herring, the complaint has now been filed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.