A leading human rights Non-Governmental Organisations in the United States believes President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over a southern border wall is based on distorted narratives and facts.
This comes as 16 states, including California, New York and Hawaii filed suit against the Trump administration on Monday in a bid to halt attempts to open further funding for the project that had already been curtailed by Congress.
The lawsuit seeks to block what it calls the Trump Administration’s “unauthorized construction of the border wall and any illegal diversion of congressionally appropriated funds”.
As expected, the President’s controversial emergency declaration seeking to circumvent Congress to secure an additional 6.7 billion dollars for his wall is likely to be settled by the Courts.
“We’ll be ready soon. We just have to read the declaration. We have to find out how far it goes in trying to usurp powers that only can be done through a legitimate declaration of a national emergency. But we will use every argument that’s put before us through this frivolous declaration to ensure that we protect not just the people. But the laws, the people of the state and the country, but the laws of this country as well,” says Californian Attorney General Xavier Becerra .
Legal experts have said the court cases could also focus on Presidents Trump’s own words that appeared to undermine the very emergency he was declaring.
“I want to do it faster. I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster. And I don’t have to do it for the election. I’ve already done a lot of wall for the election 2020. And the only reason we’re talking about this is because of the election. Because they (Democrats) want to try and win an election which it looks like they’re not going to be able to do. And this is one of the ways they think they can possibly win, is by obstruction and a lot of other nonsense. And I think that I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.”
The lawsuit is filed in the US District Court in northern California in what the plaintiffs call an attempt to block the misuse of presidential power.
“As the president said himself, he didn’t have to do this. There’s no emergency here for the nation. He’s just using this as his cover to try to move this further. And at the end, he also made it very clear he’s depending on what he hopes is a conservative Supreme Court that will back his political play to be able to do this. But I think his advisers … I think Republicans in Congress have said to him ‘this is treacherous territory you’re now taking us on’. And I hope that smarter heads prevail in Congress – bipartisanly – so that we stop the president from undermining more than 240 years of a democracy that most around the world try to emulate,” says California’s AG Bacerra.
Various civil society groupings have also announced plans to sue including Fernando Garcia of the Border Network for Human Rights.
“We are taken aback by the way that the president has been presenting our border community. He was just there a few days. He was here just a few days ago. And he gave a distorted reality of the border and the reality of our communities. It is not true that we have a national security crisis. It is not true that we have border security emergency. And it’s in that context that he’s moving with this declaration. So to start with then, this declaration of emergency is based on distorted narratives and distorted facts about the border.”
The legislature itself could also censure the President in moves that could force his first veto. So, in addition to the Courts, Congress is considering passing a resolution to override the emergency declaration, which would have to pass both houses. If, as expected it draws a veto, Congress could override President Trump’s overrule with a two-thirds majority – which means many Republicans would have to join Democrats in that endeavour if it were to succeed.