Trump declares national emergency to build US-Mexico Wall

Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in an attempt to bypass Congress, which has refused to approve $5.7bn for the US-Mexico Wall. Congress had previously refused to grant his the fundings to build a wall there, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a confrontation over the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution.

Building a border wall was a key pledge in Trump’s election campaign. Declaring a national emergency would give Trump access to billions of dollars for his project.

Trying to regain momentum after losing a grinding two-month battle with lawmakers over funding the wall, Trump asserted that the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants from Mexico constituted a profound threat to national security that justified unilateral action.

Senior Democrats accused the president of “gross abuse of power”. Several Republicans also voiced concern.

The president’s decision also incited instant condemnation from Democrats, who called it an unconstitutional abuse of his authority and vowed to try to overturn it with the support of Republicans who also objected to the move.

Now, Congress can terminate the emergency status if both houses vote for it – and the president does not veto.

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