According to CNN, Trump and his team are still working on their terrible idea to fund the border wall by declaring a state of emergency on the southern border. They are apparently currently drafting a proclamation and have identified $7 billion that could be used for construction of the wall in that case.
If that happened, the wall’s construction would fall to the Defense Department, who would use personnel from the US Army Corps of Engineers. It would also require some building on private land, which means the government would need to seize that land from its owners. This plan would bypass Congress, who Trump has so far failed to convince to give him the full $5.7 billion he requested for the wall despite the record-breaking partial government shutdown.
“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” the draft reads, according to CNN.
“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States,” it continues.
According to options being considered, the administration could pull: $681 million from Treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds, the official said.
Today, Trump alluded to the possibility of building the wall by emergency order.
“I have other alternatives if I have to and I’ll use those alternatives if I have to,” he told reporters. “A lot of people who wants this to happen. The military wants this to happen. This is a virtual invasion of our country.”
The draft notes that environmental reviews could be skipped due to the urgent nature of the project.
CNN says that even if an executive order is given, lawsuits by Democrats and other organizations could continue to delay the wall’s construction. Acquiring land via eminent domain would also take time.