The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, argues that President Joe Biden
didn’t have the authority to refuse to spend funds Congress authorized under the Trump administration mandating the construction of the border wall.
Therefore, the states argue, the Department of Homeland Security acted without authority in implementing Biden’s January 20 proclamation to pause wall construction, “including cancelling contracts entered into for the purpose of building the border wall.”
In one of his first actions in office, Biden ordered a pause on wall construction
and called for a review of projects and funds.
“The President and his agencies may not unilaterally override duly enacted appropriations bills to fulfill a campaign promise,” the lawsuit states.
CNN has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
The states claim 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 health care and process and incarcerate people in the states’ criminal justice systems.
“Dismantling border-security measures such as construction of the border wall causes Missouri and Texas to incur unrecoverable costs in issuing driver’s licenses, providing education, and administering health care,” it states.
The states are asking the court to find the termination of funding unlawful and compel the spending of funds.
Earlier this month, the administration canceled a slate of border wall contracts
— in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors — the latest in the ongoing effort to cancel contracts geared toward building wall along the US-Mexico border.
In late July, US Customs and Border Protection terminated two border wall contracts in the Laredo sector that cover approximately 31 miles.