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California suing to block Trump border wall

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP | The border separating San Diego county, California (left side), with Tijuana, Mexico

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

California moved Wednesday to block the Trump administration's construction of a wall on the border with Mexico that would aim to keep out unauthorized immigrants.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit in federal district court in San Diego, saying the government violated constitutional and environmental laws in moving to launch new wall projects on the state's southern end.

"The Trump Administration has once again ignored laws it doesn't like in order to resuscitate a campaign talking point to build a wall on our southern border," Becerra said in a statement.

Following up on President Donald Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the entire 3,200 kilometer (2,000 mile) Mexican frontier, last month the Department of Homeland Security announced it was going to begin building prototypes for the barrier along the border in San Diego and Imperial counties.

To expedite the building, early this month DHS announced it would waive any laws seen as interfering with the projects -- a move that would allow them to skirt California's rigorous environmental protection statutes.

Becerra said DHS was refusing to abide by key federal and state environmental laws.

"The Constitution does not permit government officials to unilaterally and arbitrarily waive any law of their choosing, including criminal laws and laws enacted by the States," he said.

"If you plan to do business in California, and that includes the President, then be prepared to follow the law."

© 2017 AFP