The lawsuit, filed in federal court, argues the Biden administration’s decision to suspend construction and not use all of the funds appropriated by Congress for the border wall is a violation of the Constitution, which says the president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Congress allocated $1.4 billion for the border wall under the Trump administration, but when Biden took office in January he canceled all construction contracts for its construction. However, the federal government has still been paying for these canceled contracts.
“The President had neither constitutional nor statutory authority to refuse to spend funds Congress authorized mandating the construction of the border wall,” the lawsuit says.
“Thus DHS acted without any authority to implement the January 20 Proclamation, including cancelling contracts entered into for the purpose of building the border wall,” it adds.
The states cited the ongoing immigration crisis and surge in illegal border crossings.
“Time and again, the Biden Administration has refused to take concrete action to quell the worsening border crisis, inviting the cartels and human and drug smugglers to take advantage of our porous border,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.
Texas has separately vowed to build its own border wall if Biden refuses. Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced the state would soon award a contract for the wall’s construction.
“Cartels and smugglers are profiting off the chaos as they overwhelm and divert our nation’s resources so they can smuggle drugs, weapons, criminals, and other contraband across our border,” Abbott’s press secretary, Renae Eze, said in a statement. “While the Biden Administration may not prioritize the sovereignty of our nation or the safety of our people, Americans clearly do.”