State Attorney General Maura Healey and 20 of her counterparts are asking a federal court to block the Trump Administration from redirecting $1.6 billion in federal money to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, a move Healey's office said would jeopardize funding for programs in Massachusetts.
In the filing led by Xavier Becerra of California, the attorneys general argue that the plan to divert money from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, Department of Defense's drug interdiction account and military construction projects is "unlawful and unconstitutional."
Healey's office said the diversion "puts at risk funding for the Massachusetts State Police and Massachusetts Port Authority from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund's equitable sharing program, resources that supplement and enhance Massachusetts law enforcement agencies' state-appropriated funding." The state police received nearly $553,000 from the forfeiture fund in fiscal years 2014 through 2018, the AG's office said, and used that money for equipment, technology, training and professional development.
"Massachusetts depends on this federal funding," Healey said in a statement. "We ask the court to block President Trump's efforts to divert these necessary resources to pay for his border wall."
The other states represented in the filing are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.