Grijalva, Wildlife Group File Lawsuit Over Trump's Proposed Border Wall

Apr 13, 2017

Arizona Congressman Raul Girjalva
Credit Getty Images

A conservation group and U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva have filed what they say is the first federal lawsuit against the proposed border wall.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Tucson by Grijalva, D-Arizona, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Wildlife conservationists say the wall would be detrimental to rare animals such as jaguars and ocelots that are known to traverse the international line.


The lawsuit seeks to require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to put together a report on construction of the wall and the environmental impact of expanded operations on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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This includes environmental impact statements on the the wall itself, border road construction, off-road vehicle patrols, installation of high-intensity lighting, construction of base camps and checkpoints and other activities, according to a news release announcing the lawsuit.

President Donald Trump has promised to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, though Mexico has refused.


"American environmental laws are some of the oldest and strongest in the world and they should apply to the borderlands just as they do everywhere else," said Grijalva, who expansive district includes about 300 miles of the border. "Trump's wall — and his fanatical approach to our southern border — will do little more than perpetuate human suffering while irrevocably damaging our public lands and the wildlife that depend on them."

The lawsuit names as defendants Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Kevin K. McAleenan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the CBP.