A child, resident of Ciudad Juarez, looks through the bars of a wall from the side of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in this picture taken on the side of El Paso, Texas, U.S. May 25, 2019.
A federal judge issued a permanent injunction barring President Donald Trump’s attempt to transfer $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Judge David Briones, of U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, issued the injunction in a 21-page ruling.
The ruling is a setback for Trump, whose administration has vowed to build at least 450 miles of wall along the border by November 2020, when the U.S. presidential election will take place. Trump has argued the wall will deter illegal border crossings, a major focus of his presidency.
A Justice Department spokesman said the administration would appeal the ruling.
Trump declared a national emergency last February to transfer funds from the Pentagon to build the wall after Congress refused to provide the level of funding he sought.
However, top Democrats in Congress have criticized the project as wasteful and ineffective.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, El Paso County and the Border Network for Human Rights, an El Paso-based immigration reform group, argued that Trump exceeded his authority when he declared the emergency and sought to redirect the funds.