Trump vows appeal after judge blocks use of some border wall funds

(Reuters) – US President Donald Trump on Saturday vowed to appeal a US judge’s ruling blocking his administration from using $2.5 billion in funds intended for anti-drug activities to construct a wall along the southern border with Mexico.

“[W]e’re immediately appealing it, and we think we’ll win the appeal,” Trump said during a press conference on Saturday at a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Osaka, western Japan.

“There was no reason that that should’ve happened,” Trump said.

Trump has sought to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, but has so far proven unsuccessful at receiving congressional approval to do so.

In February, the Trump administration declared a national emergency to reprogram $6.7 billion in funds that Congress had allocated for other purposes to build the wall, which groups and states including California had challenged.

FILE PHOTO: A child looks through the bars of a wall from the side of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in this picture taken on the side of El Paso
Reuters

Read more: The government is moving migrant children back into the Texas Border Patrol station where lawyers say kids were deprived of food and forced to take care of each other

US District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam in Oakland, California said in a pair of court decisions on Friday that the Trump administration’s proposal to transfer Defense Department funds intended for anti-drug activities was unlawful.

One of Gilliam’s rulings was in a lawsuit filed by California on behalf of 20 states, while the other was in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in coordination with the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

“These rulings critically stop President Trump’s illegal money grab to divert $2.5 billion of unauthorized funding for his pet project,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “All President Trump has succeeded in building is a constitutional crisis, threatening immediate harm to our state.”

(Reporting by Makini Brice and Jan Wolfe in Washington; Editing by Franklin Paul and Paul Simao)

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