Donald Trump declares national emergency to bypass Congress, fund US-Mexico border wall

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The United States President Donald Trump has on Friday announced that he was declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress and in order to get funds for his demand of a border wall at the border along with Mexico.

According to Guardians news reports, at a press conference in the White House, the US president insisted that he had no other choice but to declare a national emergency in order to step illegal immigrant movement as well as drug and human trafficking.

Trump said he would use executive actions to draw billions of dollars from the federal military construction and to counter drug efforts for a border wall, aides stated.

Trump’s move to declare national emergency state already draw criticism on Capitol Hill and was expected to face rounds of legal challenges. Trump has made this announcement from the Rose Garden as he further claimed illegal immigration was “an invasion of our country”. Opponent seized on remarks to accuse Trump of fearmongering and falsehoods for political ends, further describing his move as “unlawful” and violation of the US constitution.

While speaking in the White House, Trump noted the National Emergency Act of 1976 gave an elbow room to presidents to declare a state of national emergency and that several presidents have done so. Trump said, “There’s rarely been a problem. Nobody cares. I guess they weren’t very exciting. But nobody cares. They sign it for far less important things in some cases, in many cases.”

Trump added: “We’re talking about an invasion of our country, with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”

When interacting with reporters, Trump explained his motive as saying: “I went through Congress. I made a deal. I got almost $1.4bn when I wasn’t supposed to get $1. Not $1! He’s not going to get $1! Well, I got $1.4bn, but I’m not happy with it … I want to do it faster. I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this but I’d rather do it much faster.”

He went on to say that he doesn’t have to “do it for election”. He added, “I’ve already done a lot of wall for the election: 2020. And the only reason we’re up here talking about this is because of the election because they want to try and win an election which it looks like they’re not going to be able to do.”

In a tweet, House speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote: “He admits it’s a FakeTrumpEmergency. Hear him say it: “I *didn’t need* to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”

The White House said national emergency would take off $3.6 billion from the military construction fund of Pentagon. Executive actions would divert about $2.5 billion from Pentagon’s drug interdiction programme and around $600 million from the US treasury drug funds.

Trump further acknowledged the legal fight, and that he would certainly lose in the lower court. He said, “I expect to be sued. Sadly, we’ll be sued and sadly it will go through a process and happily we’ll win.”

While declaring national emergency, Trump said: “I’ll sign the final papers … and we will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the ninth circuit … and then we’ll end up in the supreme court and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake and we’ll win in the supreme court just like the [travel] ban.”

In a joint statement, Pelosi and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, said: “The president’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defence funds for the security of our military and our nation.”

The statement added, “This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed president, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process.”

They both said to use “every remedy available” in order to oppose national emergency. Letitia James, New York attorney general, said her court would file legal challenges in court against Trump. James, in a twitter post, wrote: “We won’t stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal.”

The US House judiciary committee announced to investigate Trump’s declaration and call a hearing by late Friday, also the not-for-profit group Public Citizen had already filed a complaint against Trump. California officials and the American Civil Liberties Union also said planning to file lawsuits.

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