New, taller border fence sections were installed recently near San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra led a 16-state coalition in filing suit Monday challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund his long-sought border wall.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and  unlawful.

The states seek to block the emergency declaration, construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of funds appropriated by Congress.

Joining Becerra in filing the lawsuit were the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.

“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up national emergency in order to seize power and undermine the Constitution,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Rather than focusing on fighting the real vulnerabilities facing Americans, the President is using the powers of America’s highest office to fan the flames of nativism and xenophobia.”

“Our message to the White House is clear: California will not be part of this political theater. We will see you in court,” Newsom added.

The lawsuit contends that unlawful southern border entries are at their lowest point in 20 years, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are most likely to come through official ports of entry, so there is no evidence to suggest that a border wall would decrease crime rates.

“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt. He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court,” said Becerra. “For most of us, the Office of the Presidency is not a place for theatre.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.