Trump Says Wall Is All or Nothing as Way Is Cleared for One Part
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said his election promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico is an all-or-nothing proposition even as a court cleared a path for part of the barrier.
"I have decided that sections of the Wall that California wants built NOW will not be built until the whole Wall is approved,” Trump said on Twitter Wednesday. “Big victory yesterday with ruling from the courts that allows us to proceed. OUR COUNTRY MUST HAVE BORDER SECURITY!"
The president’s comment comes one day after a federal judge once accused by then candidate Trump of being biased against him because he’s “Mexican” and a “hater” paved the way for construction of a 14-mile section of border fencing near San Diego.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego sided Tuesday with the Homeland Security Department, which asserted authority under federal immigration law to waive compliance with environmental protection statutes because that section is “no longer optimal for border patrol operations.”
California and environmental advocacy groups claimed in court filings that the 1996 immigration law is unconstitutional. They also alleged a lack of environmental reviews would imperil endangered species -- including the Quino checkerspot butterfly and the Mexican flannel bush -- and that federal officials failed to consult, as required, with the state and other affected parties.
Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay billions of dollars for a wall to stop illegal immigration was a central part of his presidential campaign. Mexico has repeatedly said paying for the wall is a nonstarter and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto recently canceled a trip to Washington after a phone call with Trump.
Curiel is the judge in San Diego who presided in 2016 over a $25 million settlement to thousands of students who sued the then-candidate and his Trump University over what they said were false claims and misleading advertising about the benefits of the school, which was not accredited.
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