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U.S. states, rights groups ask court to block bid to divert $1.5 billion toward Trump's wall

FILE PHOTO: New bollard-style U.S.-Mexico border fencing is seen in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, U.S., March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Civil rights groups and 20 states asked a federal judge to prevent the Trump Administration from transferring $1.5 billion that Congress had approved for the military toward building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a court filing.

The request for a preliminary injunction, filed late Wednesday in Oakland, California, marks round two in what is expected to be a drawn-out fight over President Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall, which has been strenuously opposed by Democrats.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.

After failing to convince Congress to provide its requested level of wall funding earlier this year, the Trump Administration announced plans to redirect $6.7 billion that Congress had approved for the Departments of Defense and Treasury.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam of Oakland, who is weighing Wednesday’s request, issued a preliminary injunction blocking the administration’s initial transfer of $1 billion in funds toward wall construction.


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