On October 9, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Trump’s use of his emergency powers to build his long-promised border wall with military funds is illegal. (And no, Mexico is not paying for the wall.)
$36 billion was slated for construction of about a dozen projects including two projects in the Laredo and El Paso areas. The money was diverted from funds dedicated for military construction. The projects in Texas would have covered more than 60 miles according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Some experts estimate the cost of the wall could be as high as $20 million a mile with a total cost of $45 billion.
The lawsuit Sierra Club v Trump was filed by the ACLU on behalf of the Sierra Club. The ruling upholds a 2019 decision that halted the construction. But that order was stayed.
Texas has been a persistent wrench in the President’s plan because, unlike other border states, most of the land eyed for border barriers in Texas is on privately owned land.
We have written about this moronic notion by a racist President that a wall will prevent illegal immigration before. Our last blog was on June 1, 2020, “Border Wall Land Grabs.” At that time, we reported that the federal government was accelerating efforts by taking advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic to survey land while its owners are confined indoors. We also discussed the destruction which will occur of protected Saguaro cactuses. It’s a crime to cut down a Saguaro punishable by up to five years, but not for the feds. According to the tribal leaders of Tohono O’odham Nation who live on both sides of the border, the construction is blasting ancient burial sites and siphoning an aquifer that feeds a desert oasis where human beings have quenched their thirst for over 16,000 years.
In Sierra Club v Trump, the court confirmed what everyone knows, that Trump’s fake national emergency was a pretext for targeting immigrants and border communities. As of May 2020, only 16 miles of wall constructed under the Trump administration was not replacement fencing. It’s time to give up on this silly notion.