President Donald Trump has asked Congress for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the southern border. He has said that, if necessary, he may declare a “national emergency” and act unilaterally, and that he has the authority to do so.
As is the case any time a president attempts to circumvent Congress and act unilaterally, there is the legal question of whether he can do so and the normative question of whether he should do so. This article addresses only the legal question at hand.
In brief, Trump has a strong argument to make that he, in fact, has the authority to act unilaterally. But in order to explain why, let me lay out the relevant facts.
Groundwork for National Emergency Claim
In his primetime address Tuesday night and through other information that has been disseminated by the White House, the president began to lay the groundwork for declaring a national emergency.
Here are some of the points the administration has been making for their case:
- Arguing that the flow of drugs across the border has dramatically increased, claiming that 90 percent of illegal drugs entering our country come across the southern border and that during the last fiscal year, there was a 73 percent increase in fentanyl (amounting to 2,400 pounds) and a 38 percent increase in methamphetamine and heroin coming over the southern border.
- Citing profits being made by “coyotes” who carry migrants across the border as well as the horrific conditions to which those migrants are subjected. The administration claims that criminal organizations derive $2.5 billion in profits every year from smuggling migrants into the U.S., and that 68.3 percent of all migrants report having been subjected to an act of violence and 31 percent of female migrants report having been sexually assaulted while en route.
- Highlighting the fact that …read more
From:: Daily Signal – Feed