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News > U.S.

US Lawmakers to End Trump's Emergency for 'Racist' Border Wall

  • Protest against the national emergency declaration at the Trump Tower in New York, U.S. Feb. 15, 2019.

    Protest against the national emergency declaration at the Trump Tower in New York, U.S. Feb. 15, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 February 2019

A group of 58 former senior national security officials also support stopping the U.S. President unilateral decision.

On the eve of an important vote in Congress, United States representatives and former security officials charged against President Donald Trump's national emergency, which was declared in order to get funds for a wall on the border with Mexico.

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The U.S. House of Representatives, with a Democratic majority, is expected to approve Tuesday a resolution to stop Trump's national emergency declaration, which progressives consider "unconstitutional."

So far only one Republican chamber member has shown his support for the Democrats motion, although it is expected that other colleagues of his party will join that resolution when it is discussed in the Rules Committee.

However, Democrats must find four Republican senators who also support the resolution so that it passes in the Congress' upper house.

President Trump has the power to veto it and return it to Congress, which would then need the support of two thirds of both houses to make it effective, something less likely to happen.

Some U.S. media outlets have pointed out that up to 10 Republican senators, including Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowsi and Marco Rubio, could oppose Trump's emergency declaration for different reasons.

Faced with this situation, the Democrats leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, asked Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution to protect the constitutional separation of powers, which Trump’s emergency declaration violates.

Pelosi insisted that his measure is an "illegal" interference in the Congress exclusive power to determine budgets. "This is not about the wall, whatever you think about the wall. This is about the U.S. Constitution," Pelosi said.

Otherwise a bipartician coalition of 58 former senior U.S. national security officials sent an open letter to President Trump expressing their aroused repudiation of his unilateral decision.

"Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border," the group said and added that Trump's emergency declaration “will only exacerbate the humanitarian concerns that do exist at the southern border."

According to the former security officials group, in the face of a nonexistent threat, reallocating funds for building a border wall will undermine the country's national security by unnecessarily extracting resources from Department of Defense’ programs.

The declaration of national emergency allows U.S. presidents temporary access to a special power to deal with a crisis, and Trump signed it on Feb. 15 claiming that there is an "invasion" of drugs and criminals at the U.S-Mexico border, which justifies extraordinary measures.

With this decree, Trump intends to collect US$6.6 billion deviated from various items already approved by Congress. That amount would be added to another US$1.3 granted by the legislature to the border barrier.

Madeleine Albright, who was Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton administration, and Chuck Hagel, who was Secretary of Defense under the Barack Obama’s administration, were among the letter's signatories.

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