FIRST ON FOX: The Arizona attorney general announced Monday that his office is seeking a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration’s efforts to end construction of the border wall and the Trump-era Mexico retention policy – claiming that these measures violate environmental law.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office first sued the Department of Homeland Security in April, alleging that the administration had failed to meet its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it put end to the construction of the border wall and the Remain-in-Mexico policy – which kept migrants in Mexico until their hearing was processed.
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Biden signed an order ending construction of a border wall on his first day in office, after campaigning on the issue. His administration also ended the Remain-in-Mexico policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), amid claims it was cruel and forced migrants into dangerous situations. Republicans blamed the movements for fueling the crisis on the southern border.
NEPA typically requires federal agencies to assess the potential environmental consequences of policies before they are implemented. The lawsuit asked the Arizona U.S. District Court to overturn the border wall break and reinstate Remain-in-Mexico until the government conducts an environmental damage review.
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The AG’s office cites estimates that every migrant crossing the border leaves up to 8 pounds of waste and that the state’s Department of Environmental Quality has found that includes human waste, medical products , vehicles and plastic containers.
Monday’s new effort includes a request for a preliminary injunction as well as an amended complaint. The injunction would oblige the administration to analyze the environmental impacts, cancel the cancellation of the wall contracts and restore Remain-in-Mexico.
The new complaint alleges that the sudden end of the policies was arbitrary and capricious and that the administration did not prepare an environmental impact study despite the potential impacts of policies which it claims encourage immigration across the border. .
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“There is no doubt that the immigration policies of the Biden administration are causing a humanitarian, public safety and environmental crisis on our border,” Brnovich said in a statement. “I will do whatever I can to stop their destructive actions and protect Arizona.”
The lawsuit alleges that the combined policies have led to an unprecedented number of migrants crossing the border – official statistics showing there were more than 180,000 migrant encounters in May alone.
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The lawsuit is one of many efforts by Republican states to push back the immigration policies of the Biden administration. Texas has successfully sued the administration to end a planned 100-day deportation moratorium, while Arizona and Montana have sought to end restrictive Immigration and Customs (ICE) regulations.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, recently announced that his state would pursue its own plans for a southern border wall. On Saturday, he accused the Biden administration of a “complete abandonment” of US immigration law.
Brittany De Lea of Fox News contributed to this report.
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