Tue, Feb 26, 2019 - Page 7 News List

US ex-officials to oppose ‘national emergency’ plan


A group of former US national security officials was yesterday to release a statement saying that there is no justification for US President Donald Trump to use a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The statement, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, had 58 signatures from prominent former officials, including former US secretaries of state Madeline Albright and John Kerry, former secretaries of defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano.

The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives is today expected to vote to block Trump from using the declaration. The measure is sure to pass and the Republican-held US Senate might adopt it as well, but Trump has already promised a veto.

“There is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency,” said the statement, adding that border crossings are near a 40-year low and that there is no terrorist emergency at the border.

Trump declared an emergency to obtain wall funding beyond US$1.4 billion that the US Congress approved for border security. The move allows Trump to bypass Congress to use money from the US Department of Defense and other budgets.

Trump’s edict is also being challenged in the federal courts, where a host of Democratic-led states, such as California, are among those that have sued to overturn Trump’s order.

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