(Trends Wide) — Texas and Missouri on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for its efforts to halt wall construction projects on the southern border of the United States.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, argues that President Joe Biden had no authority to refuse to spend the funds that Congress authorized during the Trump administration to order construction of the border wall.
Therefore, the states argue, the Department of Homeland Security acted without authority in implementing Biden’s proclamation of January 20 to pause construction, “including the cancellation of contracts entered into for the purpose of building the border wall.”
In one of his first actions in office, Biden ordered a pause in the construction of the wall and called for a review of the projects and funds.
“The president and his agencies cannot unilaterally override appropriately enacted budget allocation bills to fulfill a campaign promise,” the lawsuit states.
Trends Wide contacted the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
The states contend that the Biden administration’s refusal to spend Congressional appropriations on the wall allows more migrants to enter and remain in Missouri and Texas, resulting in increased costs to issue driver’s licenses, provide public education, provide medical care and prosecute and incarcerate people in the criminal justice systems of the states.
“The dismantling of border security measures, such as the construction of the border wall, causes Missouri and Texas to incur sunk costs in the issuance of driver’s licenses, the provision of education and the administration of health care,” he says.
The states are asking the court to declare the cessation of funding illegal and force the funds to be spent.
Earlier this month, the administration canceled a series of contracts for the border wall in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors, the most recent move in its effort to cancel contracts for the construction of the wall along the border between the United States and Mexico.
In late July, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) terminated two border wall construction contracts in the Laredo sector that span approximately 50 kilometers.
Trends Wide’s Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this report.