ACLU sues Trump over emergency declaration

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday became the latest entity to sue the Trump administration over its move to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the U.S. southern border. 

The civil rights organization in a statement announced it had filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition in the Northern District of California.

“The president is using a bogus declaration of a non-existent emergency to undermine our constitutional system of checks and balances, in the process deeply harming communities living and working at the border,” Cecillia Wang, ACLU's deputy legal director, said in a statement.

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“We’re filing suit to stop the administration from moving forward with this patently illegal attempt to steal taxpayer money for a border wall that Congress, security experts, and Americans have said is unnecessary and harmful.”

The ACLU had announced earlier in February that it planned to sue the administration. The lawsuit comes a day after 16 states filed a similar suit in an effort to block President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE from moving on his long-promised border wall.

In its legal filing, the ACLU argues that Trump's use of an emergency declaration is an unconstitutional effort to evade Congress in order to access necessary funding for the border structure.

The groups also argue that the construction of the wall would harm wildlife and the environment and have a negative impact on communities along the border.  

Trump declared the national emergency last week before signing a spending bill that would prevent another government shutdown. He has predicted that the lower courts will block the move.

“We will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we'll get another bad ruling and then we'll end up in the Supreme Court," Trump said.

Trump's decision to issue an emergency declaration comes after lawmakers authorized $1.375 billion to build new barriers along the border, well short of the $5.7 billion he wanted. 

The decision to sign the spending bill and declare the national emergency came shortly after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.