President Donald Trump on Friday (February 15) declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The Republican president’s move circumventing Congress represented a new approach to a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to halt the flow of immigrants into the country, which Trump maintains spreads crime and drugs.
White House reporters asked Trump following his announcement to discuss what they said was a discrepancy in statistics that show crime rates along the border as well as violent crimes committed by undocumented immigrants are down significantly from past years. Trump showed frustration with the reporters and asked so-called “Angel Moms” in the audience, women who say they have lost their children to violent crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, to respond.
At one point Trump interrupted a reporters and told him to sit down.
The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives the president broad leeway to declare an emergency. The law also includes a mechanism for Congress to oppose such a declaration.
(Production: Kia Johnson)