Trump declared a national emergency as a way to get funds for his US – Mexico border wall. Within hours of the declaration, lawmakers, independent groups and several US States started to fight back.
So far Trump has received lawsuits from 16 states, including Virginia.
US lawmakers have said that Trump’s national emergency declaration sets a dangerous precedent, and the declaration has received condemnation from Democrats as well as certain Republicans in Congress.
“Concocting a fake emergency to build a needless wall goes against the Constitution and the values America was built on,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said.
“President Trump’s ill-advised plan could divert critical funds from actual national security priorities, including military construction projects at bases and facilities throughout Virginia. We must stand up to this administration when it violates the law and attacks our values.”
Virginia is the latest state to join the race to sue the president. Other states that have issued lawsuits include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Oregon.
Each of these 16 states suing Trump have Democratic Attorney Generals.
The US Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, has not yet determined if such a wall is a military necessity. Trump is insistent on a border wall to stop the invasion of drugs from Mexico. His rhetoric of “walls working 100%” to fight crime is being met with severe criticism, many noting that crime comes from within the US and drugs come through “working” border points.
Trump has said that he will use his executive authority to build the border wall and requires a funding of USD 8 billion. Such a move means he can bypass Congress to get and use money from other budgets.
“The states allege that the Trump Administration’s action exceeds the power of the executive office, violates the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, and would illegally and unconstitutionally divert federal funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes,” Herring said.
“The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to block the emergency declaration, the construction of the wall, and any illegal diversion of congressionally-appropriated funds.”
Herring said it is vital they stand up to the Trump administration when it violates laws and attacks American values. He also said that the lawsuit would block Trump’s “fabricated” national emergency announcement
The White House issued a statement declaring that president has “clear authority” to declare a national emergency and that he is taking “necessary steps” to “ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border.” During his speech at the White House on Friday, Trump had said, “We fight wars that are 6,000 miles away, wars that we should have never been in many cases, but we don’t control our own border. So we are going to confront the national-security crisis on our southern border. And we are going to do it one way or the other.”