TUCSON, Ariz. - A coalition of environmentalist groups filed a motion to ask a federal judge to block construction of the border wall through protected wilderness.
The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., asks that the court bar wall construction while a pending lawsuit awaits judgment.
“It’s senseless to let bulldozers rip a permanent scar through our borderlands’ wildlife refuges and national monuments before the court decides whether the waiver is legal,” said Jean Su, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “Trump’s ignoring laws and diverting funds to build this destructive border wall. His grotesque barrier would destroy some of the border’s most spectacular and biologically diverse places. We’ll do everything in our power to stop that.”
At issue is proposed construction through the Organ Pipe National Monument, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge and Coronado National Memorial.
According to the suit, the Department of Homeland Security doesn't have the right to suspend the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. The White House has declared a national emergency and proposed to divert defense spending to build the wall.
The groups say the border wall would disrupt migration for animals including the Mexican gray wolf, jaguar, Sonoran pronghorn and bighorn sheep.