A federal court ruled that the Trump administration has the power to waive environmental laws in order to speed up construction of the border wall.
The ruling Tuesday has paved the way for President Donald Trump to construct his border wall, which the state of California and environmental groups have been trying to prevent, according to The Washington Times.
U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, who Trump has previously called biased due to his Mexican heritage, made the ruling that will allow the administration to waive environmental laws and build sections of the wall.
The judge said that “he wasn’t opining on whether a wall was good or bad policy — but had to conclude the government has the power to build it.”
“It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices,” Curiel said in his 101-page ruling.
He wrote that both Congress and the executive branch “share responsibilities in protecting the country from terrorists and contraband illegally entering at the border,” Fox News reported.
“Border security is paramount to stemming the flow of illegal immigration that contributes to rising violent crime and to the drug crisis, and undermines national security,” Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said. “Congress gave authority to the Department of Homeland Security to construct a border wall without delay to prevent illegal entry into the United States, and we are pleased DHS can continue this important work vital to our nation’s interests.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded to the ruling in a statement that his office “will evaluate all of our options and are prepared to do what is necessary to protect our people, our values, and our economy from federal overreach.”
“A medieval wall along the U.S.-Mexico border simply does not belong in the 21st century,” he said.
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Judge Curiel was attacked by then-candidate Trump in 2016.
In relation to a lawsuit involving Trump University, Trump asserted that Curiel, whose parents emigrated from Mexico, held “tremendous hostility” against him because of the judge’s Mexican descent.
Eight different models for a proposed border wall were tested at the end of January and the results were positive for Trump and immigration hardliners in Congress.
Constructed outside the city of San Diego, the prototypes were subjected to rigorous tests and trials by military special operation teams.
If the test results are any indication, whichever model is ultimately chosen will make illegal passage through the U.S. southern border nearly impossible, according to Fox News.
The prototypes proved better at enduring jackhammers, concrete saws and cutting torches than anything currently in use on the U.S. border.