Judge chides Biden admin, sides with states, over border wall funding

Judge chides Biden admin, sides with states, over border wall funding

Judge chides Biden admin, sides with states, over border wall funding

After Congress allocated $1.4 billion for news walls and fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border during Donald Trump’s term, two states sued and won after the Biden administration diverted the funds.

Reacting to lawsuits from Missouri and Texas, a federal judge has temporarily barred the Biden administration from diverting those funds to other border-area priorities within the Department of Homeland Security.  

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary injunction a week ago.

Andrew Bailey, the Missouri attorney general, told the “Washington Watch” program the judge’s ruling upheld the rule of law and punished President Biden for blatantly leaving the border unprotected.

Bailey, Andrew (Missouri AG) Bailey

“This puts an end to the Biden administration's attempt to vex and harass and delay the construction of the border wall,” he said, “that Congress specifically appropriated money for."

The border wall lawsuit, filed in 2021, was co-led by the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, and the Texas General Land Office. Texas officials sued after learning the Biden administration was pausing border wall construction despite congressional approval in 2020 to construct more border barriers.

In his court ruling, Judge Tipton says the Biden administration offered a Customs and Border Patrol official who assured the court it was complying with the law. In reality, the judge said, there are only two locations where a new wall is being constructed. Those projects are only filling in gaps in existing walls, he wrote. 

According to Bailey, who had to prove Missouri had legal standing to sue, he included Missouri in the lawsuit with Texas because Missouri has been hit hard with approximately 1,100 human trafficking cases.

“Making Missouri now the fourth-worst state in the nation for human trafficking,” he said, “because of our geography at the crossroads of the nation and our extensive interstate system."

Paxton, Ken (Texas attorney general) Paxton

Missouri has also witnessed more than 1,500 deaths from fentanyl poisoning, he said, and both deadly drug and human trafficking can be traced back to an open-border policy under the Biden administration.

“Biden has the tools on the books but he refuses to use them,” Bailey said. “And this is just one case and point where Congress gave him the money, gave him the materials, gave him the commandment, and he ignored it.”