Judge temporarily stops border wall construction in NM and AZ


Survey marker at construction siteFurther border wall construction in New Mexico and Arizona under Donald Trump’s emergency declaration has been postponed until further notice. This week, Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted an injunction to the Southern Border Communities Coalition and Sierra Club, effectively preventing all further progress on border wall projects in New Mexico and Arizona until a ruling is made on the case.

Statement from Kevin Bixby, Executive Director of Southwest Environmental Center:

"This is a huge victory for border communities and wildlife, and for our democracy. A border wall is tremendously harmful to our wildlife. But Trump’s disregard for our constitution and separation of powers is even more threatening to our democracy. Congress gave him some money for a border wall, but he wasn’t satisfied and resorted to extralegal means to get much more to make good on his campaign pledge. The judge’s decision today to reign him in is an important affirmation that the rule of law still prevails, no matter who occupies the white house."

Since Trump’s national emergency declaration in February, the Department of Homeland Security has been moving full speed ahead on border wall construction in New Mexico, Arizona, and California using $2.5 billion stolen from the Department of Defense. Back in March, a memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Defense revealed DHS’ 11 priorities for 213 new miles of border walls. DHS has been quickly making its way through this list, and has announced plans to construct seven of those eleven priorities, a total of 135 miles. Today’s decision halts all those plans for the time being.

While the injunction is preliminary, maintaining the status quo until the court can hear the case and make a decision seems to point towards probable success.