Brnovich alleged that the administration has not complied with its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which generally requires federal agencies to weigh the potential environmental consequences of policies prior to their implementation.
During an interview with Fox & Friends on Monday, Brnovich, a Republican, said NEPA is habitually used by Democrats to stop projects like highway projects and airport reconstruction.
“It is estimated that every person, every migrant that crosses our desert is bringing six to eight pounds – plastic bags, drug paraphernalia, backpacks – that’s left in our desert ,” Brnovich said. “That’s about a million pounds of trash in one month … [but] because it’s Biden doing it, somehow everyone’s getting a pass. And it’s not right.”
Brnovich argued that an uptick in the population in Arizona resulting from the administration’s actions has “significant environmental impacts, including displacement of undeveloped lands and additional air emissions.”
“It’s the pinnacle of hypocrisy for the Biden Administration to claim it wants to protect our environment, while not enforcing federal statutes that are specifically designed for that purpose,” Brnovich said in a statement. “We’re not going to sit idly by as the Biden Administration ignores real harms to our state resulting from its heavy-handed executive orders.”
According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, single-adult border encounters in two Arizona cities – Yuma and Tuscon – were up 584% and 223%, respectively, in March when compared with the year prior.
The suit asks the U.S. District Court in Arizona to call off the White House’s decisions to stop both construction of the border wall and the “Remain in Mexico” policy until it is decided whether the decisions would have any negative environmental consequences.
A White House spokesperson did not return Fox News’ request for comment on the lawsuit.
Biden halted construction of the border wall in January, as one of his first actions in office.
The “Remain in Mexico” policy, which prevented asylum seekers from staying in the U.S. while their immigration cases were considered in court, was ended in February.
Brnovich told Fox News he invited Vice President Kamala Harris to come see the immigration situation in Arizona, but had not heard back from her, which he called “very disappointing.”