×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Declares National Emergency Because of ‘Invasion’ at Border

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to secure funding to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that is certain to provoke a constitutional legal challenge.

In a speech at the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump said, “we are talking about an invasion of our country.” He cited the flow of illegal drug and human traffickers, as well as gangs, at the border. Fact checking organizations have challenged his claims.

He said many other presidents have taken similar steps under less dire circumstances, even as critics say his move could lead to a constitutional showdown over the separation of powers between the presidency and Congress.

His speech was carried across cable news networks and the broadcast networks interrupted their programming to air much of it.

On Thursday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced that Trump would declare an emergency, and it triggered immediate vows from Democratic lawmakers and state attorneys general that they are likely to challenge the move in court. Even some congressional Republicans have expressed their misgivings, saying it would set a precedent for future presidents to bypass Congress.

Trump predicted that the emergency declaration would get tied up in courts, but that he ultimately would prevail.

“We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling, and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court,” he said. “And hopefully we will get a fair shake and we will win in the Supreme Court.”

Opponents of his decision are likely to also argue that the national emergency isn’t really an emergency at all, as Trump could have made such a declaration earlier in his term. On Friday, he even said he could have secured money to build the wall over a longer period. “I didn’t need to do this. But I would rather do it much faster,” he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seized on the remark. “He admits it’s a #FakeTrumpEmergency,” she wrote on her political Twitter account. She also said his declaration, “if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our Founders’ vision.”

Trump appeared to have prepared remarks at the lectern, but he spoke off script for most of his speech and later in answering questions from reporters. There was no Teleprompter set up at the ceremony.

The president’s decision to declare an emergency came after a bipartisan conference committee reached a deal to fund the government through Sept. 30 that included money for border fencing that was well short of what the White House requested. Trump is expected to sign the funding bill, but said he was “not happy” with the nearly $1.4 billion it provides for construction of a physical barrier along the border.

Trump plans to tap about $8 billion for the construction of the physical barrier, which he has described most recently as a metal structure with see-through slats. That figure includes $1.4 billion allocated in the government funding bill, but additional money will come from funds from Defense Department counter-drug activities, the Treasury forfeiture account, and military construction. The emergency declaration was required to move about $3.6 billion from military construction accounts, according to a senior administration official.

The official noted that presidents have declared emergencies 58 times since 1976, and 31 of those emergencies are still in effect.

One of Trump’s central campaign promises was that he would build a wall and get the government of Mexico to pay for it. Mexican leaders have so far rejected that idea.

Among those in the crowd for Trump’s announcement was William Barr, who was sworn in on Thursday as the new attorney general. The Justice Department will be tasked with providing the legal rationale for the emergency declaration.

Also present were about a dozen Angel Moms, holding pictures of relatives who are victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

PolitiFact reported that Trump’s claims that there was an “invasion” of drugs and gangs at the border “inflates data and leaves out key facts and context.” While illicit drugs are coming through, most comes through ports of entry, such as heroin smuggled in private vehicles. PolitiFact also reported that the Border Patrol has been apprehending far fewer people than they did in the early 2000s. There has been a uptick in the number of families from Central America arriving at the border, but they are often seeking asylum.

More Politics

  • HRC, UCLA to Host Presidential Candidates

    Human Rights Campaign, UCLA to Host Presidential Candidates Forum on LGBTQ Issues

    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UCLA are teaming up to host a forum in October for Democratic presidential candidates focused on LGBTQ issues. The event will take place on Oct. 10 in UCLA’s Royce Hall, and will be part of UCLA’s Luskin Lecture Series from the university’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. National Coming [...]

  • Devin Nunes

    Devin Nunes Files $250 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter

    U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, alleging that he has been the victim of hundreds of hate-filled tweets. The suit also takes aim at Liz Mair, a Republican communications consultant who has attacked Nunes on Twitter, and the anonymous accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Peter Jackson: New Zealanders Stand 'United in Our Love' in Wake of Mosque Attacks

    “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson said Saturday that he and his fellow New Zealanders “stand united in our love and support for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters” in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead. “New Zealanders are devastated,” Jackson [...]

  • Steven Mnuchin

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Grilled Over Interest in Wife's Production Company

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked in a Senate hearing about a continued potential interest in Stormchaser Films, the production company founded by his wife, Louise Linton. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said at a hearing on Thursday that the concern is that “there has been [...]

  • Police keep watch at a park

    At Least 49 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Two New Zealand Mosques

    Armed attacks Friday on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed at least 49 people and injured dozens of others in what authorities called an act of terrorism. Four people – three men and one woman – were in custody Friday evening, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. One of them, reported to be [...]

  • Anti-Brexit remain in the European Union

    British Parliament Decides to Ask for Delay to Brexit

    The British Parliament has voted to ask for a delay to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union in a bid for more time to get squabbling lawmakers behind a deal on the terms of the withdrawal. The U.K. is currently due to leave the E.U. on March 29, but Thursday evening’s 412-202 vote in [...]

  • President Donald Trump listens to a

    N.Y. Appeals Court Rules Trump Can't Avoid Summer Zervos' Defamation Suit

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is not immune from a defamation lawsuit brought by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, even as his lawyers argued that the case should at least be deferred until the end of his term, a New York appeals court ruled on Thursday. Trump’s attorneys had argued that the Supremacy Clause of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content