A federal judge issued an order Friday that put a halt to the Trump administration’s transfer of $1 billion from counter-narcotics efforts at the Department of Defense to border wall construction projects in Arizona and Texas.
The judge’s ruling will allow some fund transfers to continue, including a shift of $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund to barrier construction in the Rio Grande Valley.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. said that the administration appears to be ignoring the will of Congress in its efforts to boost border wall construction, which lawmakers have refused to fund at the level requested by the White House. “Congress’s ‘absolute’ control over federal expenditures — even when that control may frustrate the desires of the Executive Branch regarding initiatives it views as important — is not a bug in our constitutional system. It is a feature of that system, and an essential one,” Gilliam wrote.
President Trump criticized the ruling while still on his trip to Japan, tweeting: “Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction. This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. We are asking for an expedited appeal!”