[JURIST] The Center for Biological Diversity [official website] filed suit [complaint, PDF] on Wednesday targeting the construction of the US-Mexico border wall proposed by US President Donald Trump [official profile]. The group argues that the wall is in violation of environmental laws and urges federal agencies to conduct in-depth investigations into the environmental implications of the wall. The Center’s executive director, Kierán Suckling [professional profile] expressed concern [press release] that the wall would “divide and destroy the incredible communities and wild landscapes along the border,” including people’s homes, endangered species such as jaguars and Mexican gray wolves, and protected federal lands. The Center said its ultimate goal is to require the Trump administration to undertake a comprehensive review of the social, economic and environmental costs of the border wall.
The executive order [text] signed by Trump in January, titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” directed the construction of a wall along the US-Mexican border and to increase the number of enforcement officials to remove undocumented immigrants. This order was one of the first [JURIST report] in the Trump Administration’s efforts to fulfill his controversial immigration policy. Significant concerns have been expressed concerning the construction of the wall on financial, environmental, and human rights grounds. This lawsuit is largely a response to such concerns. In February US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] Secretary John Kelly [official profile] issued a memorandum [JURIST report] ordering the immediate identification and allocation of sources of available funding for the construction of the border wall. In March, a front-runner for the 2018 Mexico Presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [official website], filed a complaint [JURIST report] with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [official website] against the proposed border wall.