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Arizona congressman sues Trump administration over border wall

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2016, file photo, workers continue work raising a taller fence in the Mexico-US border area separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, N.M. (AP Photo/Christian Torres)

PHOENIX — Citing environmental concerns, an Arizona congressman filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

The suit, filed by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and the Center for Biological Diversity, calls for an in-depth investigation into the wall’s potential impact on the environment.

“American environmental laws are some of the oldest and strongest in the world, and they should apply to the borderlands just as they do everywhere else,” Grijlava said in a statement.

“These laws exist to protect the health and well-being of our people, our wildlife, and the places they live.”

The suit’s plaintiffs argued the wall could affect the habitats threatened or endangered species.

“Endangered species like jaguars and ocelots don’t observe international boundaries and should not be sacrificed for unnecessary border militarization,” Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Kieran Suckling said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified some areas within 50 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border as “critical habitat” for at least 25 species.

The investigation would study numerous aspects of the wall, including road construction, off-road vehicle patrols and the installation of new lighting, base camps and checkpoints.

The suit argued the last environmental border impact study was conducted in 2001 and only meant to be good for five years after. In the years since, hundreds of miles of border walls, fences and roads have been built and thousands more border agents have been deployed.

Grijalva represents Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes about 300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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