According to Reuters, Twenty U.S. states have filed a motion to block President Donald Trump’s method of funding a border wall by diverting federal funds through a national emergency declaration, the New York state attorney general said on Friday.
“This wall is unnecessary, and an abuse of power that will take away resources that could be used to help Americans across our nation,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Twitter.
Trump’s order would allow him to spend money on the wall that Congress appropriated for other purposes. Congress declined to fulfill his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall this year.
Trump arrives at the border:
The news comes as President Trump arrived at the southern border in California on Friday.
"President Trump values hearing directly from individuals who work to keep our great country safe every day and understands that their perspectives are vital to securing our border and protecting the American people," the White House said in a statement.
“Mexico has been absolutely terrific for the last four days,” the president claimed, as he spoke to reporters as he left the White House. “I never changed my mind at all. I may shut it down at some point.”
“I’m heading to the border. We’re building a lot of wall. We’re going to show you a section,” Trump said. “And a lot of things are happening. A lot of very positive things are happening.”
“If for any reason Mexico stops apprehending and bringing the illegals back to where they came from, the U.S. will be forced to Tariff at 25% all cars made in Mexico and shipped over the Border to us. If that doesn’t work, which it will, I will close the Border,” Trump tweeted, before invoking the new, but not-yet-approved trade policy. “This will supersede USMCA.”
As reported by CNN, the reason for the scramble is a steep uptick of migrants — largely families and children and predominantly from Northern Triangle countries, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — at the border.
As DHS deploys reinforcements to the border, it's also urged Congress to find a legislative solution. Late last month, Kevin McAleenan, commissioner for US Customs and Border Protection, said the agency was on pace to encounter "over 100,000" migrants in March alone.
"March will be the highest month since 2008," he added.
"With continued inaction by Congress — it's going to continue to put people at risk," McAleenan said. "The men and women of CBP are serving with honor despite stark challenges — but we need Congress to act."
Border wall plaque draws criticism:
As reported by the Arizona Republic, when President Donald Trump visits this border city Friday, he plans to tour a recently installed section of border fence. It's the first replacement project completed under his presidency, and a plaque welded to the bollards marked the occasion.
As Trump landed in California, the state’s governor ripped the president’s rhetoric about asylum seekers and proposed plans to change the nation’s system.
“Since our founding, this country has been a place of refuge - a safe haven for people fleeing tyranny, oppression and violence. His words show a total disregard of the Constitution, our justice system, and what it means to be an American,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The plaque, installed more than six months ago when the work was completed, refers to the 2.25-mile-long barrier as the "the first section of President Trump's border wall."
Border officials in Calexico have noted that the project had been planned for years before Trump took office.