Concerned about the lack of testing of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, demanding to know what the Biden administration is doing to ensure that migrants apprehended crossing the border who are infected with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to it are not coming into contact with Americans. He gave Becerra until October 1 to respond. Considering Brnovich has sued the Biden administration multiple times, it appeared to be a threat that he would file another lawsuit if nothing was done.
Brnovich said in his letter, “The Biden administration has chosen the path of increasing government regulation at opposing individual liberties when it comes to handling COVID-19 in the midst of American communities. Yet this same administration has been nothing short of laissez-faire in dealing with tens of thousands of migrants that are pouring across our open border and being ferried across our nation during the same world-wide pandemic. This hypocrisy is stunning and fundamentally unfair to American citizens.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is seeking an injunction on President Joe Biden’s executive order halting the border wall construction. Brnovich wants the Biden Administration to reverse their current border policies and refrain from any further action until they analyze the environmental impact of those policies per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The attorney general’s office submitted the injunction request in an amended complaint. The original lawsuit, State of Arizona v. Mayorkas et al, argues that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and federal officials violated NEPA by not providing environmental impact statements or assessments when they halted construction of the border wall and permitted additional migrant entry by ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
President Trump recently finalized an overhaul of one of the most important environmental laws in America. Credited by some as the “Magna Carta” of environmental legislation, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is one of America’s main legislative weapons in fighting climate change. It mandates an extensive review process, including the drafting of a lengthy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and subsequent legal challenges, before the commencement of infrastructure projects. But Trump’s revision of the law through regulatory reinterpretation dramatically weakens the bill’s potency, greatly simplifying the procedure for getting federal approval on many infrastructure projects.