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Michigan joins lawsuit against Trump's wall emergency

The Detroit News
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

Michigan's attorney general has joined 15 other states in suing President Trump over his declaration of a national emergency to build a border wall.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called Trump's actions "a manufactured crisis," in a statement issued Monday night. She said she was joining the suit to “protect revenue, natural resources and economic interests” from Trump’s “flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers.” 

More16 states sue Trump over emergency wall declaration

MoreDozens in Ferndale protest Trump's declaration of a border emergency

“This fake emergency is a publicity stunt that will raid our federal funding and cost us millions,” said Nessel. “We cannot in good conscience stand by while our president seeks to undermine our own efforts to keep our residents safe and our military strong.”

Trump has called building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border a national security necessity. The move allows the president to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and other budgets.

A Border Patrol officer sits inside his car as he guards the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona, on February 9, 2019.

The move by Nessel comes as protesters in cities around the country rallied against Trump's emergency declaration announced Friday. Demonstrators gathered in Ferndale and other cities in Michigan; Los Angeles; New York City; San Francisco; Washington; and Denver. The rallies were organized by the liberal group MoveOn and others on the Presidents Day holiday.

"We believe the president is acting in an extremely undemocratic fashion, and we're tired of it," said Ferndale rally organizer PaulaMartinos-Mantay. "Does this country need immigration reform? Absolutely. But it is not an emergency."

Trump's action shifts billions of dollars from military construction to the border after Congress failed to approve as much money as Trump said he needed for the wall.

Nessel said the Michigan National Guard has more than 10,000 soldiers and airmen in more than 40 facilities in the Michigan. The state's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs receives a majority of its funding from the federal government.

"Loss of funding negatively impacts this vital service for the state of Michigan," Nessel said.

All the states involved in the lawsuit have Democratic attorneys general. Nessel joins the lawsuit led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.