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A truck drives near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.  U.S. President Donald Trump will direct the Homeland Security Department to start building a wall at the Mexican border. (AP Photo/Christian Torres)

The first federal lawsuit over Trump's wall isn't about immigration, but the environment


An Arizona congressman and a wildlife conservation group filed what they call the first federal lawsuit against President Trump's proposed Mexican border wall.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) filed the lawsuit, calling for the Department of Homeland Security to create a report on the environmental impact of the wall and the associated increase in border patrols.  Grijalva is the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Sansao, a Jaguar, eats in a lake at the NEX Sanctuary for felines in Corumba, some 80 km north of Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. NEX No Extinction, a non-governmental organization created to defend and preserve the life of endangered wild felines, currently houses some 26 big cats, most coming from the Amazon. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Wildlife conservationists argue the wall will put jaguars and ocelots, which are known to cross the border and are already endangered, in an even dicier situation.

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What we need is a thorough analysis and some real science to determine just how much damage has been done ...
Randy Serraglio, Center for Biological Diversity

This lawsuit, unlike past non-federal lawsuits, considers the broader impact of the proposed policies beyond the wall itself, Center for Biological Diversity spokesman Randy Serraglio said.

Sessions 3-31.jpg
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about crime to local, state and federal law enforcement officials Friday, March 31, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Trump has long promised to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. Mexico has repeatedly refused, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Congress would pay for the wall in a recent border tour. 

The lawsuit also alleges a report on the environmental impact of the border wall is a decade overdue. Serraglio said the last  environmental impact study regarding the border was done in 2001. 

"Things are dramatically different now," Serraglio said.

The DHS said it does not comment on pending lawsuits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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