Hawaii joins California lawsuit against Trump over border wall funding

President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Instagram/Donald Trump)
President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Instagram/Donald Trump)
Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 5:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii was one of 16 states that filed a lawsuit against President Trump on Monday, claiming the emergency declaration he signed last week to secure funding for a physical barrier along America’s southern border is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleges that President Trump “used the pretext of a manufactured ‘crisis’ of unlawful immigration to declare a national emergency" — one that redirects billions of dollars meant for U.S. military construction projects toward the building of his long-promised border wall.

“There is ... no objective basis for President Trump’s Emergency Declaration,” reads a portion of the lawsuit. “By the President’s own admission, an emergency declaration is not necessary.”

Hawaii’s involvement in the lawsuit is directly related to portion of the emergency declaration that determines President Trump’s funding source for the wall: money that had already been set aside for military construction.

“Hawaii is aggrieved by the actions of (President Trump) and has standing to bring this action because of the injury due to the loss of federal funding,” reads the lawsuit. “The loss of funding to conduct drug interdiction and counter-narcotic activity threatens the public safety of all Hawaii residents.”

The suit alleges that Hawaii could lose as much as $300 million in military construction funds if the money is allowed to be diverted to barrier construction between the U.S. and Mexico.

The loss of funding for certain military construction projects is, according to President Trump, a risk worth taking. In his emergency declaration, Trump called the border “a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics.”

“Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis," the President wrote in the declaration.

The declaration was decried almost immediately by Democratic lawmakers and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which also says it plans on filing a lawsuit — something Trump said Saturday he anticipated would happen.

“Sadly, we’ll be sued, and sadly, it will go through a process, and happily we’ll win, I think,” said Trump.

Other states involved in Monday’s lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.

This story will be updated.

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