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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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July 19, 2023

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today, alongside 17 attorneys general, announced a settlement of lawsuits over the unlawful construction of border wall projects that occurred during the Trump administration. The coalition sued the administration in 2019 and 2020 alleging it illegally diverted taxpayer funds authorized for other purposes to construct a border wall in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. 

As part of the settlement, the Biden administration agreed to cease construction of border barriers with the challenged funds and take several important measures to remediate the environmental harm caused by the construction. The settlement also confirmed restored funding for military construction projects in certain states.

“I am pleased this settlement brings to a conclusion long-running litigation over the unlawful plans to build a ‘border wall,’ and restores Illinois taxpayers’ money to the important projects to which it should have been allocated,” Raoul said.

Raoul highlighted the following terms in the settlement:

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will provide $25 million toward the acquisition of conservation property to offset some of the border wall’s environmental impacts.
  • DHS will install small and large wildlife passages in the border barrier system for several endangered species. If exigent circumstances arise or border security operations demand it, DHS may install gates to enable those passages to be closed.
  • DHS will provide $1.1 million to fund programs that monitor several federally endangered species, including the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, Sonoran Desert Pronghorn, Mexican Gray Wolf, ocelot and jaguar. 
  • The parties confirm that $427,296,000 in funding for military construction projects in certain plaintiff states has been restored.

Joining Attorney General Raoul in this settlement are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.