Agencies, Washington, US President Donald Trump said Thursday he “would almost say definitely” that he would declare a national emergency at the US-Mexico border, a controversial option he has been publicly contemplating since last week.
Trump gave the remarks as he was set to travel to McAllen, a city in the southern US state of Texas that borders Mexico, to continue pitching his demand for more than 5 billion US dollars for funding a border wall.
The president has locked himself in a stalemate with congressional Democrats in the dispute over the wall. The partisan fight has dragged a partial government shutdown into the 20th day and, with no end in sight, is about to make it the longest in US history.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is accompanying Trump during the border visit, as the White House Counsel’s Office has been assessing the legal process involved in a national emergency declaration over the wall.
While claiming that he has “the absolute right” to make a national emergency declaration, Trump said that “it makes sense” to get the wall-funding money from the Congress, but that using his executive power to get it done is “the easy route.”
A US president does have the authority to declare a national emergency, which, in the case of the current deadlock, will enable Trump to bypass congressional approval and build the wall using the Department of Defense money that has already been allocated.
However, Democratic lawmakers and legal experts have said Trump’s adoption of this method constitutes an abuse of power and will invite immediate court challenges.