Updated to include statement issued by Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford late Monday afternoon.
Nevada is joining the lawsuit to challenge President Trump’s national emergency declaration, the California Attorney General’s office confirmed Monday.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has taken the lead in a multi-state suit to fight what the states claim is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.
After losing a budget battle with Congress and failing to secure funding for his wall, Trump announced Friday he would declare a national emergency at the border.
As a result, he plans to take to reallocate billions of dollars of spending authorized for other purposes in order to compile $8 billion for border wall funding.
“President Trump cannot sidestep our Constitution for a political ploy,” Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement. “The Trump Administration’s proposed diversion of funds would waste billions of dollars that is dedicated to supporting our military and law enforcement agencies. I am proud to join this lawsuit to defend our Constitution, our state’s military bases, and Nevada’s law enforcement agencies.”
In Nevada, Trump’s redirection of funds would take money from drought relief projects, flood recovery, construction at Nellis Air Force Base, and local national security activities, Rep. Steven Horsford said last week.
Trump also intends to take money from forfeiture funds, and Nevada could lose tens of millions of dollars seized cash and assets that otherwise would go to law enforcement in the state.
A portion of the money collected through asset forfeitures is given to law enforcement agencies, meaning they could lose funding.
“Our office will work with Nevada’s federal delegation and, should Nevada’s federal funds be depleted or harmed in any way by this latest effort, the Trump Administration should be prepared for a legal challenge from my office,” Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said last week.
Nevada is one of at least a dozen states joining California in the suit.
“The president admitted that there’s not a basis for the declaration,” Becerra said Monday. “He admitted there’s no crisis at the border.
Other states joining in the suit include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.
“The only national emergency is the president’s trafficking in lies and deceit,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement.
In addition to state attorneys general, several other entities are also suing the president, including but not limited to the ACLU, Public Citizen, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
“The facts do not support President Trump’s rhetoric or his declaration,” Ford’s statement said. “Unlawful southern border entries are at their lowest point in twenty years, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry.”