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News Feb 18, 2019 - 9:21:21 PM

CT AG Tong, 15 other states file lawsuit challenging President Trump's national emergency declaration

By Connecticut Attorney General William Tong's office

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Hartford, CT - Connecticut Attorney General William Tong today joined California and 14 other states in a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress. In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the coalition alleges that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The states seek to block the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds.

"The President has left us no choice but to take legal action to protect the people of Connecticut and the rule of law. Today, Connecticut joined California and 14 other states in seeking a nationwide injunction to prevent the President from using the ruse of a national emergency to launch an end-run around the legislative process. He did not have to do this — he said that himself right before leaving for a weekend of golf. There is no national emergency. What we have is a President hell-bent on fulfilling a campaign promise motivated by racism and hate, and willing to trample on our Constitution to achieve that. After carefully reviewing all available information from the White House and analyzing all potential impacts to Connecticut federal appropriations, it is clear to me that specific funding — including potentially for critical Air National Guard projects at Bradley — is at risk. Today's action brings me no joy, but it is necessary to protect Connecticut and our Constitution," said Attorney General Tong.

The complaint filed today alleges that the Trump Administration’s declaration of 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 at their lowest point in 20 years, 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 states allege 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.

Joining Attorney General Tong in the lawsuit led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are the attorneys general of Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.

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