Sixteen states on Monday filed a lawsuit against United States President Donald Trump for declaring a national emergency.
The lawsuit, California et al. v. Trump et al., includes the states of California and New York.
Earlier last week, Trump declared a national emergency in relation to the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The lawsuit is filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco. It states that the US President cannot transfer funds for construction of any wall along the border. Congress controls the expenditures.
It accuses Trump of “an unconstitutional and unlawful scheme.” Through the lawsuit, the states are trying “to protect their residents, natural resources, and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles ingrained in the United States Constitution.”
Trump used the pretext of a manufactured ‘crisis’ of unlawful immigration and declared a national emergency. This is contrary to the will of Congress. “It redirects federal dollars appropriated for drug interdiction, military construction and law enforcement initiatives,” the lawsuit adds.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer criticised the US President for his decision.
Under U.S. National Emergencies Act, the Democrats are planning to introduce legislation to invalidate the emergency declaration. Both the Democrat-held House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate requires a two-thirds vote to prevent Trump from vetoing such legislation.
Last week, Trump asserted that he had “no choice” but to use his emergency powers. The wall is necessary to stop illegal immigrants from spreading crime and drugs, he added.
Trump signed a border security legislation into law approved by the Congress that funds roughly a quarter of the government, preventing a fresh partial shutdown.
The bipartisan agreement would provide USD 1.3 billion in funding to build the wall along the US-Mexico border.