US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he may declare a national emergency over immigration, to allow him to build a US-Mexico wall on America’s southern border, without congressional approval.
This happened after he met senior Democrats on Border Security, who refused his requests for funding. He said “I may declare a national emergency dependent on what’s going to happen over the next few days. That’s another way of doing it.”
President Donald Trump on Friday said that he could keep the US Government partly closed for “months or even years” and declare a national emergency if the Congress refused to provide $5.6 billion funding for a wall along the Mexico border.
Democrats have already threatened a legal fight if Trump tries to declare a national emergency. “He’ll face a challenge, I’m sure,” Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said on Sunday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, after his meeting with Trump said, “We told the president we need the government open. He resisted. In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period, months or even years.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who attended the meeting along with other Congressional leaders stressed on the need to open the government.
“We recognise on the Democratic side that we really cannot resolve this until we open up the government and we made that very clear to the president. Services are being withheld from the American people.”
Responding to reporters’ questions thereafter, Trump said he could continue with the government shutdown but it is unlikely to happen.
“I don’t think it will, but I am prepared and I think I could speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate.
The president, however, denied he threatened the Democrats. “I’d never threatened anybody, but I am allowed to do that, yes,” he said. Trump said he only wants to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, human trafficking and smuggling of drugs, by having a solid steel structure or concrete structure.
“We’re not playing games. We have to do it. And just remember human traffickers, remember drugs, the drugs are pouring into this country. They don’t go through the ports of entry. When they do, they sometimes get caught,” said Trump.