Since the start of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has been discussing the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and on Friday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the wall by allotting $2.5 billion in military funding.
In the paragraph-long order published by NPR, the Supreme Court said the groups challenging the administration don’t have a legal right to which led the conservative majority to vote in Trump’s favor. Meaning funds that were allocated for the Pentagon can now be used for the construction of Trump’s border wall.
“Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!” Trump tweeted after the announcement.
“This is not over. We will be asking the federal appeals court to expedite the ongoing appeals proceeding to halt the irreversible and imminent damage from Trump’s border wall,” Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement. “Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied.”
The lawsuit at the Supreme Court was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition who stated that the wall would be a disruptive addition to the environment, potentially worsening flooding problems and negatively impacting wildlife, Reuters reported.
“Today’s decision to permit the diversion of military funds for border wall construction will wall off and destroy communities, public lands, and waters in California, New Mexico, and Arizona,” said Gloria Smith, an attorney with the environmental group the Sierra Club, which sued to block the funds.
With deportations rising but undocumented immigration declining, it seems that Trump’s insistence on construction of the wall is more politically motivated as he begins campaigning for 2020.
The news of Trump’s border wall construction moving forward with the use of military funds comes at the same time as the announcement of the “safe third country” agreement made with Guatemala on Friday. According to the agreement, Asylum seekers from Honduras and El Salvador would be required to seek asylum there instead of the U.S.
These developments also come after Trump declared a national emergency on February 15 in a bid to fund the wall without congressional approval for his original request of $5.7 billion. The 35-day shutdown led to him signing a spending bill that provides $1.4 billion for border barriers instead of the wall.
“Our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied,” Dror Ladin, an attorney with the ACLU, told the New York Times.