On February 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision to grant a motion for summary judgment disposing of a complaint that the decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite construction of border barriers in the San Diego and Calexico, CA border crossing areas was inconsistent with the Secretary’s powers under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), as well as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other authorities. The case is In Re Border Infrastructure Environmental Litigation (Center for Biological Diversity, et al., v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al.).
“As a threshold matter, we have jurisdiction to consider the ‘predicate legal question’ of whether IIRIRA authorizes the contested projects. Because the projects are statutorily authorized and DHS has waived the environmental laws California and the environmental groups seek to enforce, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to DHS.”