An anti-immigration group achieves a legal victory in its federal lawsuit accusing the Joe Biden administration of violating environmental law when it suspended construction of a wall on the border with Mexico and tried to nullify other immigration policies enacted by former President Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON (Globe Live Media) — An anti-immigration group has won a legal victory in its federal lawsuit accusing the Joe Biden administration of violating environmental law when it suspended construction of a wall on the border with Mexico and tried to roll back other immigration policies. enacted by former President Donald Trump.
A federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that a lawsuit filed last week by the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform against three federal agencies can proceed, at least in part.
Judge Trevor McFadden said the federal court has jurisdiction to hear the case, though he dismissed two of the 11 claims by the Boston-area-based group.
The group Center for Immigration Studies, which promotes a reduction in immigration and which sued on behalf of the Massachusetts coalition, welcomed the ruling.
“It was time to resolve this matter,” Julie Axelrod, director of litigation at the organization, said in a statement. “The enormous impacts of immigration in the United States, including the degradation of our southern borderlands, our infrastructure, urban sprawl, pollution, global carbon emissions and other environmental considerations, have become impossible to ignore.”
The lawsuit argues that the federal government violated environmental law by suspending construction of the wall, ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy, expanding refugee programs for Afghans, Central Americans and other populations, and relaxing certain policies for patrol border and immigration agents.
The coalition, which according to its website promotes reducing immigration for environmental reasons, says the Departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security should have conducted an environmental impact analysis before implementing immigration changes, as required by law. National Environmental Policy (NEPA).
“If NEPA is to apply to government policy, it must be to federal policies that induce population growth,” the organization says in its lawsuit. “When the federal government makes a decision to create population growth through immigration, it makes a decision that has significant and foreseeable environmental consequences.”
Six people from Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Arizona who say they have dealt with the environmental consequences of federal immigration policy are also named among the plaintiffs.
Judge McFadden dismissed charges that the Department of Homeland Security’s instruction manual violates environmental law and that the Biden administration should have prepared a “programmatic” environmental analysis of its actions on immigration. The next hearing was set for September 29.
Spokesmen for the three agencies named in the lawsuit did not respond to emails seeking comment Wednesday.
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