Arizona AG Seeks Injunction to Invalidate Biden Admin’s Termination of Border Wall Construction

By Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
July 12, 2021 Updated: July 12, 2021

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a motion for a preliminary injunction while amending his previous lawsuit on Monday, seeking to void the Biden administration’s decision to stop border wall construction and to substantially reinstate former President Donald Trump’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP)—also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“There is no doubt that the Biden Administration’s immigration policies are causing a humanitarian, public safety, and environmental crisis at our border,” Brnovich said in a statement. “I will do everything I can to stop their destructive actions and protect Arizona.”

In April, Brnovich filed a lawsuit against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, alleging that the halt of border wall construction and the MPP policy violated the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires federal agencies like the DHS to weigh environmental considerations before taking any significant federal action.

mark brnovich
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is seen in an undated photo provided on June 10, 2021. (Mark Brnovich)

The latest lawsuit amended Brnovich’s previous lawsuit with some new claims, including that the administration’s refusal to expend funds allocated by Congress to wall construction violates both the Constitution and the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, and that the administration has failed to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement for a policy which will have significant environmental impacts.

The lawsuit also called the Biden administration’s decisions “both arbitrary and capricious.”

The Epoch Times has contacted DHS for comment about the lawsuit.

President Joe Biden halted the construction of the border wall on his first day in office. Days later, he ordered the DHS to suspend the MPP policy, which has since been officially terminated.

Monday’s lawsuit also includes a motion for a preliminary injunction, which asks the court to invalidate the terminations of border wall contracts and to substantially reinstate the MPP policy until a proper environmental analysis is conducted.

The complaint (pdf) claims that Biden’s termination of border wall construction and MPP “played a major role in causing this sudden influx of migrants.” In May, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 180,034 migrants along the southwest border.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality “estimates that each border-crosser leaves an average of six to eight pounds of trash behind,” the complaint noted.

Epoch Times Photo
A file photo shows litter covering the ground at a migrant oasis that offers water and candles just off the road in Bisbee, Arizona, near the US/Mexico border. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The complaint pointed out that border-crossers will damage the vegetation and wildlife, harm the endangered species, and impact natural resources, particularly water. Sickness and mortality to the migrants themselves from dangerous border crossings is also one of the environmental impacts.

Brnovich has filed several lawsuits in court to halt the Biden administration’s immigration and border policies. In February, he filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s 100-day deportation freeze. In May, he and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen filed a joint lawsuit to halt the administration’s narrowing deportation guidance.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last month that his state will build its own barrier along its 1,200-mile border with Mexico.

Monday’s lawsuit was filed in a federal court in the District of Arizona.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.