Austin, Jan 10: A court in the US state of Texas has ruled in favor of allowing a private fundraising group called 'We Build The Wall' to continue building a stretch of wall on the US-Mexico border, dismissing appeals raised by two parties concerning the wall's potential environmental and political impact.
According to the CNN broadcaster, the court on Thursday rejected a claim made by the National Butterfly Center, which argued that the construction was illegal and would harm the environment in the region.
Additionally, the International Boundary and Water Commission's claim that the wall’s construction could potentially divert the course of the Rio Grande River, which would, in turn, violate a 1970 border treaty between the US and Mexico.
Southern District of Texas federal judge Randy Crane dismissed the appeals for their speculative and unsubstantiated nature, and allowed the private fundraising group, headed by military veteran Brian Kolfage, to resume construction of the three-mile stretch of the wall located near the city of Mission. According to media reports, the group has received $25 million in private donations for its wall-building projects.
"Twin court victories for the wall today!" Kolfage wrote on Twitter, also making reference to a Wednesday verdict in a federal appeals court that permitted the use of $3.6 billion of Department of Defense funds for border wall construction. In September, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorised using this money for 11 individual wall projects along the US-Mexico border.
The construction of a wall along the border between the US and Mexico to stymie the flow of illegal immigration was a flagship pledge made by now-President Donald Trump before the 2016 elections. Trump has been in a battle with Congress since taking office to receive state funding to construct the wall, a conflict that culminated in a 35-day shutdown that began in December 2018. (UNI)