On April 12, 2017 the Center for Biological Diversity and Arizona Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva announced that they had sued the Trump administration over planned border security measures. This includes the proposed wall, road construction, increased human presence, heightened off-road vehicle use, and more.
This is the first lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s intended border militarization efforts. It calls for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct a thorough investigation into the environmental impacts of Trumps’ plans.
The proposed wall, as well as the activities that would accompany it, would have detrimental effects on endangered species like jaguars (Panthera onca) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis). The wall would sever travel corridors, disrupt sensitive habitats, and dramatically reduce any hope for jaguar recovery in the foreseeable future. Multiple conservation groups have voiced their concerns about these impacts – especially since illegal border crossings are at a historic low.
The new lawsuit seeks to force federal agencies to take conservationists’ warning seriously, and to prepare a “programmatic environmental impact statement” for the Trump administration’s planned border initiatives. As it says in the Center for Biological Diversity’s recent press release:
If successful, today’s lawsuit would require the Trump administration to undertake a comprehensive review of the social, economic and environmental costs of the border wall.