Trump Declares National Emergency Over Border Crisis
President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, allowing him to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval. Trump also signed a bill granting limited funding towards the wall.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House before the signing on Friday, Trump said he will declare a national emergency, a move that will allow him to corral funding from other parts of the government to fund the US-Mexico border wall.
“We’re declaring it for virtual invasion purposes,” Trump told reporters. “Drugs, traffickers and gangs.”
The president has also signed a spending bill that will avert a second government shutdown, but will only provide $1.3 billion towards building the wall, a fraction of the $5.6 billion requested by Trump late last year.
“We got so much money, I don’t know what to do with it,” he said of the bill, while stressing that the only exception was the border wall funding due to the Democrats’ position.
While the bill does provide funds for port-of-entry security and drug-detection equipment, it also includes a number of concessions to Democrats. It explicitly prohibits a concrete wall, grants amnesty to illegal immigrants in the US with unaccompanied minors, bans wall construction in several national parks, and provides no funding for hiring more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.