republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
California’s radical Attorney General Xavier Becerra (shown) traveled to San Diego on September 20 to announce a lawsuit he will file against the Trump administration over its plan to begin construction of a wall along the Mexican border in San Diego and Imperial counties. Becerra made his announcement at the Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach, which borders Playas de Tijuana in Mexico.
“No one gets to ignore the laws. Not even the President of the United States,” Becerra said to those attending.
The Times of San Diego reported that the federal government is seeking to start construction of the border wall in San Diego County. Last month the Department of Homeland Security announced it has secured a waiver that will allow it to bypass environmental regulations to speed up the building process in both San Diego and Imperial counties.
The Calexico waiver, as it was called, marked the seventh time the government has waived environmental reviews under a 2005 law. That law exempts the federal government from the National Environmental Protection Act, which calls for extensive reviews of environmental impacts, as well as many other laws.
The DHS would waive 37 federal statues as well as regulations related to those statutes, Becerra said during his announcement
That move would violate “numerous state and local laws” in California and San Diego County, he asserted. “If it happens in our backyard we demand that it be carried out the right way and follow the rule of law,” said Becerra as quoted by the Times of San Diego. “If you want to do business in California — and that includes the President of the United States — be prepared to follow the law.”
A September 20 report in Politico cited Becerra’s statement that the lawsuit will argue that the administration’s plan to build the wall along the border violates federal law and the Constitution by intruding on state authority. “They’re violating the Tenth Amendment and infringing on a lot of state laws, not just federal laws, that affect our state. At the same time, they’re trying to do something that only Congress can do,” Becerra told journalists in Washington in advance of an official announcement he plans to make in San Diego. “In California, that’s not going to fly,” Becerra added.
Becerra said the suit will argue that federal officials are running afoul of the law by declaring the expansion of the border wall to be an emergency that justifies waiving environmental studies and usual contracting procedures.
This is not Becerra’s first lawsuit against the Trump administration. However, when the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia filed suit on September 6 against the administration to block it from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), California did not join the lawsuit. A spokeswoman cited by NPR said that although Becerra has worked closely with other state attorneys general, he will likely choose to take action independently because of the number of DACA recipients in his state.
The DACA program protected from deportation those brought to this country illegally as children. They are often referred to as DREAMers — a reference to the DREAM Act, which was never ratified by Congress but used as a model for provisions incorporated into DACA by executive order under the Obama administration.
“We will not permit Donald Trump to destroy the lives of young immigrants who make California and our country stronger,” Becerra said in a statement last week. “The court of public opinion has already spoken: the vast majority of Americans agree Dreamers should be here to stay; so now it’s time to fight in every way we can — and on multiple fronts — in the court of law.”
Additionally, California was also the first state to challenge the administration on its policy of denying funds to “sanctuary cities” that limit cooperation with enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. The state of California and city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over President Trump's sanctuary city restrictions on public safety grants.
If Becerra’s name sounds familiar to some readers, it is because in addition to doing battle with the Trump administration, he has gone to war against pro-life activists. On March 28, Becerra filed 15 felony charges in the state Superior Court in San Francisco against David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and his associate Sandra Merritt. Becerra alleged that Daleiden and Merritt invaded the privacy of staff personnel at Planned Parenthood by filming undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from the abortion provider.
Becerra’s tendency toward radicalism was noted in an article posted by The New American last January, when Governor Jerry Brown first nominated him for his present position. The article’s author, Bob Adelmann, observed after Brown announced the pick:
This is the man who presumes to lecture Trump and the members of his administration on the 10th Amendment and the law. However, considering the decisions made recently by federal judges who have heard various lawsuits against the administration (e.g., U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber of Chicago ruled September 15 that the Department of Justice cannot withhold federal dollars in law-enforcement grants to sanctuary cities), one of them is likely to take the California lawsuit seriously instead of dismissing it.
Trump Signs Executive Orders to Build Border Wall and Strengthen Immigration Enforcement
Trump Criticizes Media and Says Mexico Will Pay Back U.S. for Border Wall
Trump Transition Immigration Advisor: Wall Will Be Built
Ex-Mexican Official: Trump Can Make Mexico Pay for Wall, Si!
Xavier Becerra, Radical Pick for California AG, Likely a Shoo-in