President Donald Trump on Friday officially declared a national emergency over the crisis at the United States–Mexico border in order to secure $8 billion in funding for a wall.
Trump's declaration followed his approval of a spending bill Congress passed Thursday night to avoid another shutdown and provide $1.375 billion of funding for border fencing. This solution was reached after Congress refused to give Trump the $5.7 billion he initially demanded for a wall, resulting in the five-week partial government shutdown.
In addition to the congressional funding, Trump plans to divert $6.7 billion from other government programs, including $3.6 billion from a budget for military construction projects, $2.5 billion from Department of Defense counter-drug programs, and $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
Trump's national emergency declaration has raised many questions about the legality of his actions, the precedent set by former presidents, and what will happen next. Trump himself said in his speech Friday morning that he expects to be sued.
To help make sense of the situation, here is a reading list of Pacific Standard's best stories on this national emergency.
- "Trump Declared a National Emergency Over the Border Wall. What Will Happen Now?" by Emily Moon
A legal expert on emergency powers weighs in.
- "Trump Has Declared a National Emergency Over the Border Wall. What Legal Challenges Could He Face?" by Emily Moon
While the president has far-reaching powers in a state of emergency, experts say Trump could face legal challenges over specific provisions.
- "The United States' States of Emergencies," by Emily Moon
Trump's threat to use a national emergency for the border wall taps into a history of far-reaching executive power.
- "How Drugs Pour Into the U.S. From Mexico," by Francie Diep
Drugs enter through official ports and Border Patrol checkpoints, not through the open land where walls might be built.
- "Explaining Trump's Border Wall Visit in 14 Figures," by Massoud Hayoun
Numbers offer the clearest picture of the situation at the border.