San Diego — A California tribe whose ancestral lands span across the U.S.-Mexico border is suing the Trump administration to block construction of a section of border wall that the Kumeyaay people say is desecrating sacred burial sites.
The La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Diego on Tuesday asking for an injunction to temporarily halt the installation of a towering metal wall until the tribe can protect its religious and cultural heritage. La Posta is one of 12 bands of the Kumeyaay people.
The tribe wants its members to be able to monitor work and interrupt it to recover human remains and cultural items.
The lawsuit was filed against President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who oversaw military funds diverted for the border wall; acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf; and Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of building the wall.
“Defendants are currently constructing the border wall directly through Kumeyaay burial sites and sacred lands, causing irreversible and easily avoidable damage to Kumeyaay remains, cultural items, history, and religious practices,” the lawsuit states.