By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Maura Healey is weighing legal action against the Trump administration following President Donald Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to pay for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Healey on Tuesday called Trump's action "an illegal power grab" and a violation of the constitutional separation of powers.
On Monday, Democratic attorneys general in 16 states filed a lawsuit in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco calling Trump's declaration unconstitutional. Massachusetts wasn't among the states.
The Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement her office has been in touch with the group behind the lawsuit and "is working to determine the full scope and impact on Massachusetts so that, if and when we challenge the Administration's actions, we bring the strongest possible case."
Trump, a Republican, considers a wall a national security necessity.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he believes Healey is looking into whether Massachusetts has legal standing to join the case.
"The shutdown and the debate and discussion about the border is the function of a much bigger issue which is the nation's inability to deal with immigration policy," Baker said.
He called on Republicans and Democrats in Washington to "get together and come up with a comprehensive immigration reform bill that won't make everyone happy but at the same time will deliver on the requirements associated with a secure border and a legitimate path to citizenship."
A spokeswoman for Healey said the attorney general's office is looking for more information about the federal government's funding sources to make sure that millions of dollars that have been allocated for Massachusetts aren't unlawfully diverted for Trump's wall.
Healey's office is specifically looking at the possible impact of the emergency declaration on: drug interdiction and counter-drug activities carried out by the national guard in partnership with state and local law enforcement; funding for law enforcement agencies from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund; and military construction projects authorized for Massachusetts.
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