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  • IRLI Staff

Don't Defund the Wall

Updated: Jul 14

In IRLI brief, congressman shows why construction should go on

WASHINGTON – Activist groups (including the House of Representatives) are still suing President Trump in numerous federal courts across the country in an attempt to overturn his declaration of a national emergency at the border, and stop the administration from building a border wall in response to that emergency. Fortunately, injunctions in these cases have been stayed by the Supreme Court, so wall-building continues apace as the cases wind their way through the courts.

Previously in one of these cases, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, after the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky, dismissed most of the plaintiffs’ claims. In another brief submitted Friday, again on behalf of Rep. Barr, IRLI argues that the remaining claims should go, too, and summary judgment be entered for the government.

In its brief, IRLI shows that, in the National Emergencies Act and various military appropriations statutes, Congress clearly provided that the President, in an emergency, could transfer military funds to military construction projects, and that building a border wall meets the statutory definition of a “military construction project.” Nor were these statutes repealed by implication in the 2019 border-funding deal struck by Congress and the President, which provided only sharply-limited funds for border barriers but did not contain any express language overriding the older statutes.

“To call these suits ‘meritless’ is putting it mildly,” commented Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Various laws clearly give the President the authority to build a border wall in an emergency, and anti-borders politicians lacked the votes to change those laws. We remain confident that these attempts by well-funded activist groups to undo this political loss in court will prove futile, and the wall will keep getting built.”

The case is Rio Grande International Study Center v. Trump, No. 1:19-cv-0720 (D.D.C.).

For additional information, contact:

Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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