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US-Mexico Border Wall Dispute: Democrats, Groups Vow To Challenge Trump’s Emergency Declaration

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LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– Declaring it an unconstitutional attempt to fund a wall without approval from Congress, democrats and rights groups in the United States have affirmed to fight US President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration along the southern border between US and Mexico.

A key committee in the US House of Representatives announced on Friday it was initiating an immediate probe into Trump’s emergency declaration as the move to fund the promised wall raised constitutional and statutory issues.

In a letter to Trump, Democrats who control the House Judiciary Committee asked the Republican president to make available relevant White House and Justice Department officials.

They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

“We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system,” said the letter signed by committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel.

Trump declared a national emergency on Friday after Congress passed a spending deal to keep the government open that did not include funding for a border wall.

A national emergency, if not blocked by the courts or Congress, would allow Trump to dip into funds politicians had approved for other purposes to build a border wall.

Democrats say will use every remedy available

But the top two Democrats in Congress said they will use “every remedy available” to oppose Trump’s declaration.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday that they will take action “in the Congress, in the courts and in the public”.

They called Trump’s declaration unlawful, adding that it would “shred the Constitution” by usurping Congress’s power to control spending.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump’s declaration that the “current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency”.

The coming legal fight seems likely to hinge on two main issues: whether the president can declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress’s refusal to give him all the money he wanted; and whether federal law allows the Defense Department to take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction.

The Pentagon has so far not hinted at projects that might be affected.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES