The Trump administration asked a federal judge Wednesday to allow construction of high-priority sections of the president’s southern border barrier while it appeals a district court ruling last week, Politico reported.
The Justice Department filed its request in court documents saying it would appeal a ruling by Oakland, Calif.-based District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. that halted the transfer of $1 billion in Pentagon counter-drug funding for barrier construction.
“Unless stayed, the Court’s injunction will irreparably harm the Government (and the public) by prohibiting the Government from taking critical steps to stop the flow of illegal drugs from entering the country through the southern border,” DOJ wrote in its request. “Large quantities of illegal drugs are being smuggled into the country through the Yuma and El Paso sectors, including by transnational criminal organizations.”
The administration requested the court return a decision by next Wednesday while it files its appeal.
The high-priority sections of border wall are in Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Texas, where the Department of Homeland Security says there are high volumes of drug smuggling.
Army Corps of Engineers photo by San Luciano Vera