ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona AG Brnovich calls criticism of border lawsuit ‘pinnacle of hypocrisy’

Apr 13, 2021, 2:19 PM | Updated: 2:45 pm

Border wall construction takes place west of Douglas, Arizona, on Dec. 14, 2020. (Customs and Borde...

Border wall construction takes place west of Douglas, Arizona, on Dec. 14, 2020. (Customs and Border Protection Photo/Jerry Glaser)

(Customs and Border Protection Photo/Jerry Glaser)

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Tuesday said opposition to his lawsuit over the environmental impact of the Biden administration’s border policies was the “pinnacle of hypocrisy.”

“I wish people like, you know, the environmentalists cared half as much about human beings and what’s going on in Arizona as they do, or they supposedly do, about plant and animal wildlife,” Brnovich told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

On Monday, the Republican filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that Democratic President Joe Biden’s decisions to stop border wall construction and end the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers violate the National Environmental Policy Act.

“We know that this is having a change, by not building that wall, by stopping the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, it has had a change in our environment in Arizona,” Brnovich said.

“We know that there’s information out there that says that every time someone crosses the border, they’re leaving between 6 and 8 pounds of trash in the desert.”

The lawsuit argues the policy changes left “arbitrary gaps between physical barriers” and enabled “tens of thousands of asylum claimants to enter the United States — all without preparing an environmental impact statement for any of these activities.”

Brnovich said that under NEPA, major federal actions such as the Biden border policies must undergo environmental impact studies ahead of time.

“So once they started building the wall, if they were going to take any sort of substantial impact, like stopping the wall, they were required under the environmental law to do an impact study before stopping,” he said.

An attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based environmental group that fought against border wall construction during the Trump administration, called Brnovich’s suit “political grandstanding and an insult to border communities, wildlife and wild lands.”

“If Arizona’s attorney general truly cared about the environment he would’ve sued the Trump administration for ignoring environmental laws and tried to stop these destructive walls from being built,” Brian Segee told the Associated Press on Monday.

Brnovich questioned the sincerity of his critics.

“I think it’s the pinnacle of hypocrisy for the left or for the Biden administration to now claim that they want to protect the environment, but they’re unwilling to enforce this law because it’s not doing something that’s politically expedient,” Brnovich said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

People can be seen riding the escalators and standing in lines inside Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Har...

KTAR.com

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport gets $36 million federal grant for infrastructure upgrades

The infrastructure at Arizona’s largest airport is getting an upgrade thanks to a $36 million federal grant.

7 minutes ago

photo of Raad Almansoori...

KTAR.com

Suspect in Arizona stabbings linked to murder of woman in New York

A man suspected in two recent Valley stabbings has been linked to the murder of a woman in a New York City hotel room in early February.

1 hour ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: How does APS justify raising rates amid inflation?

Ted Geisler, president of Arizona Public Service (APS), joined Jim Sharpe on Arizona’s Morning News to discuss how the company decided on an 11% increase on customers amid current inflation.

2 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: How APS plans to keep service going, workers prepare for future winter storms

Ted Geisler, president of Arizona Public Service (APS), joined Jim Sharpe on Arizona’s Morning News to discuss how the company decided on an 11% increase on customers amid current inflation, as well as discussed how workers have used this past winter storm to prepare for future weather impacts. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News […]

2 hours ago

Amkor Technology to bring semiconductor facility to Peoria...

Serena O'Sullivan

Peoria City Council paves the way for new semiconductor packaging and test facility

Tempe-based Amkor Technology is set to launch an advanced semiconductor packaging and test facility in north Peoria, officials said.

4 hours ago

Sunnyslope campus...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona Humane Society closing Sunnyslope campus, new facility set to open in Phoenix

The Arizona Humane Society's Sunnyslope campus is in the process of being relocated to the Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Arizona AG Brnovich calls criticism of border lawsuit ‘pinnacle of hypocrisy’