The Supreme Court granted requests from the Biden administration to remove arguments in two cases (Mayorkas v. Innovation Law Lab and Biden v. Sierra Club) that questioned the legality of the “Remain in Mexico” program and Donald Trump’s national emergency border wall-building declaration. The conservative court might have upheld Trump’s policies had he remained in office, but will now most likely dismiss the cases.
The Army Corps of Engineers directed its contractors to cease border wall construction within 7 days, following President Biden’s January 20 proclamation calling for a pause in construction.
President Biden signed several immigration-related executive orders and proclamations that paused work on the border wall, ended the declaration of a state of emergency on the border, and ordered efforts to preserve DACA. Homeland Security announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations for “certain noncitizens”. (This moratorium was later stayed by a federal judge in Texas.)
A look at the laws the Trump administration is waiving or violating in order to build as much border fence as possible before the president’s term ends.
A Defense Department notification to Congress that it is transferring $3.8 billion to the Department of Homeland Security for construction of border fencing, in accordance with President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration. (link at comptroller.defense.gov)
An explanation of how the Trump administration has wrested billions of dollars in money from elsewhere in the federal budget in order to fund wall-building without congressional approval.
- The Trump administration is planning to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction in 2020, according to documents obtained by U.S. media. This would bring the total federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion. There is bipartisan opposition to the diversion, as more congressionally approved renovation and construction plans for U.S. military installations risk losing their funding.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) files an emergency motion asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to halt the Trump administration’s use of $3.6 billion in military construction funds for border wall construction in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. A day earlier, the 5th Circuit had allowed the funds transfer to proceed. The motion was filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition. It argues that the Trump administration’s claim of an urgent need for the funding was transparently false. California and eight other states support the ACLU’s request in a separate filing.
- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals places a stay on a December 10 lower court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build the wall along the southern border. Those funds account for a third of about $10 billion the Trump administration had allocated for border construction though fiscal 2019, via budget appropriations and “emergency” transfers from the defense budget.