Biden Must Spend Border Wall Construction Funds On Border Wall Construction

2024-03-08 16:50:28

The timing of this is worth noting. Last night, in his vitriolic State of the Union address, Joe Biden blamed everyone but himself — but particularly Republicans — for his border crisis. But everyone knows, on day one of his presidency Biden by executive order removed numerous border protetions, including construction of a border wall.

A federal judge in Texas just ruled on the border wall halt, ruling the Biden illegally refused to spend and repurposed border wall construction funding already allocated by Congress. The suit was brought by Missouri and Texas, and their respective Attorney Generals announced the ruling tonight.

From the Court Order:

Walls and fences have existed at the border between the United States and Mexico for years. In 2016, however, former President Donald J. Trump made “building a wall” a key component of his presidential campaign. During his presidency, various efforts were made to either construct more walls or expand existing barriers along the border. This case focuses on two of Congress’s efforts in that regard.

In 2020 and 2021, Congress funded roughly $1.4 billion “for the construction of [a] barrier system along the southwest border.” President Jospeh R. Biden, Jr., who assumed office on January 20, 2021, had a different view of how these funds should be spent. President Biden, via proclamation, paused obligation of these funds the day he was inaugurated and ordered the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to reassess the situation. DHS issued two plans under this directive. Two now-consolidated lawsuits emerged from these actions: one by the Texas General Land Office (“GLO”) and another by the States of Missouri and Texas (the “State Plaintiffs”).

Now pending before the Court is the State Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, (7:21-CV-00420, Dkt. No. 19), which GLO has joined. The State Plaintiffs and GLO (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) move to enjoin the United States from implementing President Biden’s proclamation and to order DHS to obligate the funds that have been congressionally appropriated for the construction of a barrier system at the Southwest border. DHS argues in response that, notwithstanding the language in the statute, an injunction would be inappropriate because the challenged spending decisions are committed to its discretion. The Court disagrees. Whether the Executive Branch must adhere to federal laws is not, as a general matter, an area traditionally left to its discretion. And without that discretion, DHS’s spending decisions run afoul of the APA. After careful consideration, the Court GRANTS the Motion in part, (7:21-CV-00420, Dkt. No. 19).

* * *

For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS the Motion for Preliminary Injunction in part. (Dkt. No. 19). Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The Government and all its respective officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and other persons who are in active concert or participation with them are hereby ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from implementing the July 2022 Amended Plan to the extent that its obligations are not authorized under Subsection 209(a)(1) and Section 210 as laid out in this Order.

2. The Government is prohibited from obligating funds under Subsection 209(a)(1)—and corresponding funds under Section 210—toward mitigation and remediation efforts, repair of existing barrier, so-called system attribute installation at existing sites, or other similar purposes. Those types of expenses may be authorized under Subsections (a)(2) through (a)(5) where appropriate, however, Subsection (a)(1) permits only the construction of physical barriers, such as additional walls, fencing, buoys, etc.

3. This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect pending a final resolution of the merits of this case or until a further Order from this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the United States Supreme Court. This Order shall not affect obligations that are permissible under other Subsections of the CAAs.

No security bond is required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(c).

The Court STAYS the effect of this Final Judgment for seven days from the date of entry to allow the Defendants to seek relief at the appellate level.

It’s unclear to me whether under this Order Biden actually has to construct the wall. It prevents him from spending the money on other things. And since open borders and mass illegal entry into the country is Biden’s overarching policy, I think he’ll find a way not to actually build the wall.




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Biden Must Spend Border Wall Construction Funds On Border Wall Construction

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