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Groups ask judge to stop border wall construction

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ACLU takes aim at military funding

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY) A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday on a bid to stop military-funded construction of President Donald Trump's border wall.

The lawsuit challenges a Supreme Court order which temporarily allowed the Trump administration to use funds earmarked for other purposes to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Pentagon has diverted more than $6-billion to pay for wall construction since President Trump declared a national emergency along the border in February.

Several groups filed suit to stop the building, but in July the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the construction can continue while the cases make their way through the courts. Work on the wall is currently underway in Arizona, California, and New Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing the Sierra Club and The Southern Border Communities Coalition in this lawsuits against the Trump administration and its wall. The groups say they're trying to protect what they call the sensitive environment in and around Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. A portion of the wall runs through the area. It's the only place in the U.S. where the organ pipe cactus grows wild. Attorneys say wall construction is destroying animal habitats and draining much-needed water from the area.

The ACLU says if it prevails in its lawsuit large portions of the wall could be torn down.

Immigration

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.

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