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Donald Trump May Declare National Immigration Emergency and Build the Wall to Protect U.S. Borders

1/11/2019 Anant Goel

With the government shutdown and congressional Democrats unwilling to let go of their anti-border security views, the president said he would declare a national emergency to get parts of the border wall built. Of course, Democrats flipped a lid. It would be a constitutional crisis if President Trump did so. It’s unconstitutional. It would make Trump a king. It could foster the beginning of the end of America. Yeah, so the Democratic freak-out was just a typical day. Yet, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley stated that Trump actually has the power to declare emergencies and that the Democratic response is interesting since they had zero problems, of course, with Obama circumventing the legislature on immigration, health care, and Libya.

Congress has refused the funds needed for the wall, so Trump is openly claiming the right to unilaterally order construction by declaring a national emergency. On its face, that order would undermine the core role of Congress in our system of checks and balances. However, the declaration is not unconstitutional. Schiff, now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, insists that Trump “does not have the power to execute” this order.
 
The problem is Trump does have that power because Congress gave it to him.
 
The 1976 National Emergencies Act gives presidents sweeping authority as well as allowance in federal regulations to declare an “immigration emergency” to deal with an “influx of aliens which either is of such magnitude or exhibits such other characteristics that effective administration of the immigration laws of the United States is beyond the existing capabilities” of immigration authorities “in the affected area or areas.”
 
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