The ACLU of Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit demanding information about a “contract for another large section” of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The contract was announced by President Trump on December 24, 2018.

Two days after a partial shutdown of the federal government began, President Trump announced on Twitter that he “just gave out a 115 mile long [sic] contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas.” The announcement did not explain the source of funding for the contract, the procedure by which it was awarded, or the scope of the contracted project.

The ACLU of Massachusetts submitted a public records request to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), seeking the contract and related documents, including requests for proposals, documentation of selection, purchase orders, invoices, and studies of cost, effectiveness and/or environmental impact.

The ACLU also submitted a public records request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency involved in federal contracting for the construction of physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border; the agency’s Fort Worth district ultimately conceded that it has no records concerning the contract in the President’s announcement.

Members of the public and their elected representatives need this information to make an informed assessment of whether the President is providing false and untrustworthy information regarding the situation at the border. This information will also help to inform the public of whether the President violated the laws and regulations governing federal procurement, and whether the President violated the U.S. Constitution by expending funds without a Congressional appropriation.



Matthew Segal and Daniel McFadden (ACLU of Massachusetts); Alycia Kennedy (Todd & Weld)