Michigan, other states sue Trump over emergency declaration

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / tmainiero

Sixteen U.S. states used the President’s Day holiday to put President Donald Trump on notice concerning his efforts to get a border wall built between the U.S. and Mexico.

Michigan is among the states who have filed a lawsuit against the president challenging Trump’s declaration of a national emergency as an effort to get the wall built. The lawsuit states that the declaration is unconstitutional.

California is one of the states bordering Mexico. The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said in a statement to NBC News that all the president is doing is flexing his persuasive muscle to build the barrier, which was one of Trump’s 2016 campaign promises. Becerra called the declaration an escalation of a problem that did not exist in the first place.

“Today, on President’s Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power,” said Becerra. “President Trump is willing to manipulate the Office of the Presidency to engage in unconstitutional theatre performed to convince his audience that he is committed to his ‘beautiful’ border wall. We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states.”

Michigan is one of four states on the Canadian border joining the lawsuit, along with New York, Maine and Minnesota. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said via her Twitter account that Trump’s effort will only cost Michiganders money.

“This fake emergency is a publicity stunt that will raid our federal funding and cost us millions,” tweeted Nessel. “We cannot in good conscience stand by while our president seeks to undermine our own efforts to keep our residents safe and our military strong. Proud to stand with these AGs today.”

The U.S. Congress, particularly the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, has been at odds with the White House over funding a wall on the country’s border with Mexico. A standoff over getting the $5.8-billion in funding needed for the wall resulted in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history earlier this winter. After signing a compromise measure last week to avoid another shutdown, Trump announced he would bypass Congress and declare a national emergency to get the wall built.

Under a national emergency, the President would have special powers to take funding earmarked for other projects. According to NBC, Trump told reporters last week that he expected the declaration to be challenged in the courts.