OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU and AP) - California and 15 other states filed a lawsuit Monday against President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"The responsibility to determine where our tax dollars go is Congress' responsibility," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told KTVU on Monday night. "Donald Trump cannot usurp that obligation and privilege. He's trying to do that through this fabricated emergency declaration."
Joining California in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. All the states involved in the lawsuit have Democratic attorneys general.
The states say diversion of military funding to wall-building will hurt their economies and deprive their military bases of needed upgrades. They say taking away funds from counter-drug efforts for the wall will also cause damage. California and New Mexico, the two Mexican border states in the lawsuit, say the wall will harm wildlife.
Becerra said there is no emergency at the border and Trump doesn't have the authority to make the declaration.
"We've had challenges at our border over time and we deal with them. The challenge that we face is not a national emergency. It's not a crisis," Becerra said.
Trump declared a national emergency to fulfill his promise of completing the wall.
The move allows the president to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and other budgets.
California has repeatedly challenged Trump in court. Becerra has filed at least 45 lawsuits against the administration.
"President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up 'national emergency' in order to seize power and undermine the Constitution," said California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement. "This 'emergency' is a national disgrace."