A State of Emergency: What To Know and Is It Really Necessary


Ella Mulligan, Editor-in-Chief

The border wall; one of President Trump’s main campaign promises and probably the reason he is currently in office.  Over the past two years of his time in the White House, the President has fought to get this project off the ground and has been constantly met with staunch resistance from Congress.  Trump has shown from his time in office, and especially in recent months, that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get the wall. This includes starting the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States, lasting 35 days, and now declaring a state of emergency.

Many people may be wondering what this now means for the future of the United States.  By declaring a national emergency, the President has the power to access billions of dollars and override the need for the support of Congress.  These funds will be produced by diverting a total of $8 billion from military construction funds, counternarcotics programs, and a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund as well as using the $1.375 billion given to him by Congress for fencing along the border.  While the funds being allotted to this wall are monumental, the larger implications for this declaration are even more significant. Many Democratic and Republican congresspeople have voiced their outrage over this declaration and have called it an unconstitutional use of Trump’s powers as president.

One of the most troubling parts of the President’s declaration is that he doesn’t even seem to view the wall as an actual national emergency.  In his Rose Garden address, Trump stated, “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”  Declaring a national emergency is meant for when there is an actual emergency. The president saying that he didn’t really need to declare a state of emergency to get the wall shows a great deal of irresponsibility and general disregard for how this decision will negatively impact the various agencies that are facing reduced funds for what many Democrats are calling his “vanity project”.  Many organizations have already filed lawsuits against the president for his decision and America will be closely watching to see how these events unfold in the coming months.