***MEMO*** What’s Next: NGOs Lawsuit against Trump’s national emergency and border wall

From: The Sierra Club, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Southern Border Communities Coalit

Courtney Bourgoin (courtney.bourgoin@sierraclub.org

Hiram Soto with SBCC (hiram@alliance.org

Abdullah Hassan with ACLU (ahasan@aclu.org)


Background- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Sierra Club, and Southern Border Communities Coalition won a preliminary injunction to block the Trump administration from using military funds to build 50-55 miles of new border wall in Arizona and New Mexico. The three groups filed for a preliminary injunction when the administration requested a transfer of funds to construct over 213 miles of new border wall in New Mexico and Arizona. The Sierra Club discovered Department of Homeland Security emails revealing the administration’s plans for walls through a national monument, wildlife refuge, several communities and the San Pedro River using the emergency money.

Our preliminary injunction means the first batch of border wall construction with diverted military funds must be halted until the outcome of our challenge is final. By June 24, we will also seek to block the second batch of projects with diverted military funds.

What’s New with the Suit- The Trump administration is set to appeal the preliminary injunction that blocked 50-55 miles of new border wall in Arizona and New Mexico.

Meanwhile, as the case makes its way through the legal channels, southern border communities stand ready to protect sensitive areas that are threatened by new walls funded  under the unconstitutional emergency declaration.

Places at-risk from emergency declaration border wall:

New Mexico:

Ecologically-critical areas: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Communities: Columbus, Puerto Palomas, Arena, ranches and households in Luna and Doña Ana counties

Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter Director


Ecologically-critical areas: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the San Bernardino and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuges, the San Pedro River, and the Coronado National Memorial, Colorado River

Communities: Cocopah Indian Tribe, Yuma, Andrade, Los Algodones, Colonia Ladrillera, Gadsden, San Luis, Colonia Miguel Aleman, ranches and households in Pima and Cochise counties

Contact: Dan Millis, Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Borderlands Program Manager


Communities: El Centro, Calexico, Ocotillo, Coyote Wells, Mt. Signal; unincorporated communities in Imperial Valley County

Contact: Hiram Soto, Southern Border Communities Coalition, hiram@alliancesd.org

Areas that could still be affected with money from emergency declaration:

Ecologically- critical areas: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Jacumba Wilderness Area

Communities: ranches and households in Hidalgo County, New Mexico; and ranches and households in Santa Cruz, Cochise, and Pima counties.

Why it matters- The decision in favor of a preliminary injunction is one of the first and strongest checks on Trump’s abuse of power and agenda to build a deadly, harmful and wasteful wall. It’s clear through this appeal process Trump will stop at nothing to push this through despite its consequences for communities, wildlife and the environment.

Trump’s wall would devastate border communities, wildlife areas and bodies of water—inflicting irreversible harm on a huge portion of the Southwest. Not only that, new findings show Trump’s wall already cost $1.57 billion for a mere 1.7 miles. The president has tried to circumvent Constitutional checks and balances twice already— by declaring a national emergency and by then requesting the courts to allow wall construction despite the preliminary injunction, which was denied by the judge.

Americans oppose Trump’s national emergency and border wall-

Information about administration appeal hearing:

What: ACLU, Sierra Club and SBCC vs. Donald Trump- Federal officials appeal the district court's order granting in part the motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent executive officers from using redirected federal funds for the construction of a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Where: Courtroom 1, 3rd Floor Rm 338, James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, San Francisco

Plaintiff representatives available for comment and interview. 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.