Washington DC: President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency at the southern border of the United States. Meanwhile, President Trump announced that he will sign a national emergency at the United States’ border with Mexico. This controversial move is expected to help him fund the construction of a massive wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country and curb drug smuggling. The construction of the wall is expected to cost USD 5.6 billion, which Trump had asserted as an essential element for national security.

“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action—including a national emergency—to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border. The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The White House statement came soon after Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell made the move public. “I had an opportunity to speak with President Trump and he, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated he’s prepared to sign the bill. He also (will) be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. I indicated I’m going to support the national emergency declaration,” McConnell said.

On the Democrats saying they will challenge the move in the Supreme Court, Sanders said, “We’re very prepared, but there shouldn’t be (legal challenges). The president’s doing his job. Congress should do theirs.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall”.

In a joint statement, they said that Trump couldn’t convince Mexico, the American people or their elected representatives to pay for his ineffective and expensive wall, so now he’s trying an end-run around Congress in a desperate attempt to put taxpayers on the hook for it. The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities, they said.

(With Agency inputs)