Missouri, Texas sue Biden admin in aim to resume construction of border wall
Sen. Lindsey Graham shares behind-the-scenes stories from the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
The Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Texas have teamed up to file another lawsuit against the Biden administration regarding border security measures, this time seeking to force the administration to resume construction of the wall at the southern border.
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. Schmitt announced Wednesday, March 24, 2021, that he's making a bid for retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt's seat. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) ((AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File))
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argue that the administration's halting of the wall's construction when President Joe Biden took office in January redirected funds appropriated for the project, and in doing so violated the separation of powers and the Take Care clause of the Constitution.
"Time and again, the Biden administration has refused to take concrete action to quell the worsening border crisis, inviting the cartels and human drug smugglers to take advantage of our porous border," Schmitt said in a statement. "Without a border wall, illegal immigrants, coyotes, and bad actors can simply march across our southern border and into the interior. The border wall needs to be built, the funds have been appropriated to continue to build the wall, and yet the Biden Administration outright refuses to do so."
President Joe Biden speaks at a meeting with business leaders and CEOs on the COVID-19 response in the library of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Schmitt's office points to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, wherein Congress specifically appropriated more than $1.3 billion for "construction of barrier system along the southwest border." The FY2021 DHS Appropriations Act also appropriated the same amount of funds, the Missouri AG said. So, nearly $3 billion Congress appropriated for building the wall were redirected by the Biden administration.
"The Biden Administration’s flat refusal to use funds that have already been set aside by Congress to build the border wall is not only illegal and unconstitutional. It’s also wrong, and it leaves states like Texas and Missouri footing the bill," Paxton said in a statement, adding, "I will not sit idly by while this Administration wreaks more havoc on our state."
During a press conference in El Paso on Thursday announcing the lawsuit, Paxton said, "I'll just say to the President of the United States, 'Let's go Brandon!, we'll see you in court," sending a rallying cry for Biden critics.
Ken Paxton, Texas attorney general, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Photographer: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Schmitt said during the presser that the president really believes in open borders and amnesty, then added in a comment directed to Biden, "If you're not going to do your job, we're going to make you do your job."
The lawsuit is Paxton's seventh border security and immigration related lawsuit against the Biden administration, and he and Schmitt were successful in a lawsuit earlier this year in forcing the administration to continue enforcing the "Remain in Mexico" policy put in place by the Trump administration. The Biden administration is still fighting that earlier lawsuit in court.
Fox News reporter Adam Shaw contributed to this report.