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The Attorney General of the State of Arizona, Mark Brnovich, sued the U.S. Government for halting construction of the border wall with Mexico and ending the “Remain in Mexico” program, it was reported on Monday.
Arizona asked a federal court to annul these decisions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since, it assures, it violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“It is the pinnacle of hypocrisy for the Biden administration to claim they want to protect our environment, without enforcing federal laws that are specifically designed for this purpose,” Brnovich said in a press release.
The prosecutor argues that DHS failed to provide environmental impact statements when it abruptly halted construction of the border wall, former president Donald Trump’s signature project.
This void allows migrants into the country by ending the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program, also known as “Remain in Mexico.”
Arizona argues that these decisions increase the migratory flow and therefore increase the population, stating in the lawsuit that “population growth has significant environmental impacts.”
In one of his first official actions on January 20, the president ordered a temporary halt to the construction of the border wall with Mexico.
This, according to Brnovich, has left unplanned gaps between segments of the border fence, thus encouraging illegal migration.
As a direct consequence of these “gaps” in infrastructure, migrants have been crossing into Arizona in greater numbers.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office highlighted that sources indicate that approximately 1,000 people evade immigration authorities and enter the United States daily because of these gaps in the border fence.
“Inevitably, many of these migrants settle in Arizona, increasing the state’s population. Despite these predictable results, DHS at no time conducted any analysis of environmental impacts,” Brnovich said.
Arizona argues that since Biden ordered DHS to end the MPP last February, thousands of migrants have been allowed to enter the country and, it says, will remain even if their asylum claims are denied.
Arizona believes that the current administration has not taken into account the housing, infrastructure, hospitals and schools needs of these migrants and the impact it will have on the environment.
The state asked the court to suspend these measures until DHS complies with this environmental analysis.