A U.S.-Mexico border wall, a key item promised by Trump to his political base of supporters, has become a sticking point in talks to keep alive a federal program protecting young people brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation. A U.S. judge on Tuesday had sided with Trump’s administration and rejected an attempt by California and environmental groups to stop the federal government from building a wall on the state’s border with Mexico. California currently has some sections of existing barriers.
The lawsuit filed in a San Diego federal court alleged that Trump’s proposed wall violates federal environmental standards and constitutional provisions regarding the separation of powers and states’ rights. The plaintiffs asked U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to stop the administration from pursuing the barrier until it demonstrates compliance with environmental laws. “Big victory yesterday with ruling from the courts that allows us to proceed. OUR COUNTRY MUST HAVE BORDER SECURITY!” Trump added in a tweet on Wednesday.
It was unclear what Trump meant about parts of the wall California wants built, given the state’s opposition to the whole idea. Attorney General Xavier Becerra said after the ruling his office remained opposed to the border wall and would evaluate its options.
Though while that ruling in itself is surprising considering that this was a California court, there were more shockers in store for the Trump administration. As it turns out, one of the judges that ruled in favor of the wall was U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, who President Trump believed in the past would be biased against the wall since he is from Mexican descent.
Curiel wrote in his opinion waiving the environmental red tape that it was not up to him to decide if this was a good policy or not. The only thing that was up for discussion was if the government had the power to build the wall and in fact, they do.