President Trump Declares Emergency Over Mexico Border

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington Evan Vucci / AP Photo
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington Evan Vucci / AP Photo

President Trump Declares Emergency Over Mexico Border

President Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border today, a move that will grant him access to billions of dollars in funding for a border wall. During his televised announcement, President Trump characterized drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants coming across the southern border as national security threats. Congress has repeatedly refused to pass legislation that would fund a border wall, so now, with the emergency declaration in place, $3.6 billion that had been budgeted for military construction projects will be diverted to border wall construction, according to White House officials. President Trump will also pull funding from other areas, including counter-narcotics programs. Only twice in the past have presidents declared national emergencies in order to redirect money without explicit authorization from Congress. On today’s show, we discuss what President Trump’s declaration means for national security and American democracy. We are joined by Nancy MacLean of Duke University, who wrote Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, and Tom Ginsburg of the University of Chicago, who wrote How to Save a Constitutional Democracy.