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ACLU Continues Fight Against Trump Border Wall in New Filing

May 30, 2019, 5:30 PM UTC

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion in federal court late Wednesday to block parts of President Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Attorneys representing the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) are asking the court to stop construction of the border wall in Southern California, in addition to three areas near Tucson, Arizona.

The new filing comes on the heels of a win against the Trump administration last Friday in the same court. The lawsuit sought to block Trump’s use of national emergency powers to secure funds for the border wall.

In its latest court filing, the ACLU said it will put forth “virtually identical” arguments as in the previous lawsuit.

“At issue here are an additional $1.5 billion in military funds that Defendants intend to divert to construct President Trump’s wall,” the filing states.

“The Constitution is clear that the president has no power to spend taxpayer money without Congressional authorization,” said Dror Ladin, the lead attorney on the case and a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project when reached for comment. “And Congress was clear in denying the President billions of dollars for his xenophobic obsession with a wasteful, unnecessary wall. We will continue to defend this bedrock principle of our democracy — which the courts have upheld for centuries.”

The filing argued further that the Trump administration would use these funds to build parts of the wall on protected lands, including Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the San Pedro River, the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, and the El Centro valley.

Attorneys said constructing the border wall on protected federal land “will irreparably harm Plaintiff Sierra Club’s members’ recreational and aesthetic interests in the borderlands they live in, use, and treasure.”

U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam issued a preliminary ruling in favor of the Sierra Club and the SBCC last week, blocking the Trump administration from using funds transferred from military accounts to build parts of the border wall in Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas.

“The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Gilliam stated.

The Justice Department said on Wednesday that it would appeal judge Gilliam’s recent decision.

Trump has promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border since the early days of his 2016 presidential campaign. Since taking office, the president has continued to push hardline policies on immigration.

Despite his promises, a majority of Americans oppose new construction of border walls along the Southern border.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s requests for comments.

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