US-Mexico Wall Row: Republican leaders oppose border 'emergency' as shutdown drags on

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 14 January 2019, 06:54 AM
Republican lawmakers on Sunday warned against Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to secure funds for a border wall (File Photo of US-Mexico border)
Republican lawmakers on Sunday warned against Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to secure funds for a border wall (File Photo of US-Mexico border)

Republican lawmakers on Sunday warned against Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to secure funds for a border wall. Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that he would "hate" to see Trump invoke emergency powers for a wall. "If we do that, it's going to go to court and the wall won't get built," he said. And Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, told ABC, "We don't want it to come down to a national emergency declaration," even if he believes Trump has the authority to do so.

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Trump only recently backed away from talk of an emergency declaration, after pressing it for days as a way out of the continuing budget standoff.

Democrats have strongly opposed the idea. The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, said Sunday on ABC that "if this president is going to turn to national emergencies every time he disagrees with Congress, I'm against it."                He urged Trump to "put an end to the shutdown and put everything on the table." As the partisan battle drags on, the effects of the partial shutdown have become steadily clearer, and new polls show growing public dissatisfaction. On Sunday, Trump acknowledged, at least indirectly, the mounting costs of the shutdown.

"The damage done to our Country from a badly broken Border - Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad - is far greater than a Shutdown, which the Dems can easily fix as soon as they come back to Washington!" he said.

Earlier, Donald Trump had threatened to "entirely close" the Southern border with Mexico and change the immigration laws if the opposition Democrats did not agree to his demand of funding for a border wall. The Trump administration is seeking more than US dollar 5 billion for the construction of the border wall. Trump also threatened to end all US aid  to three Latin American countries--Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras-- arguing that these nations have done nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. Donald Trump made a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking a key campaign promise in the 2016 election when he said it would be paid for by Mexico. 

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve," Trump had said in a series of four tweets. 

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"The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a 'profit making operation'," the US President had tweeted.

First Published: Monday, January 14, 2019 06:54 AM
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