President Trump will declare a national emergency in the United States to give him the legal powers to appropriate money from the military to fund his border wall, it has just been announced.
The claimed 'reason' for the NE declaration is of course immigrants entering America via Mexico. The plan was just announced by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R), who made the statement before the Senate voted on the agreed-with-Democrats bill to fund the government (without Congress providing wall money), so preventing another government shutdown.
The 'crisis' at the southern border is a complete scam - there is no horde of dangerous immigrants pouring into the US now, or waiting to come in, or are on their way. Net migration into the US is negative - more people are leaving the US for Mexico than vice versa.
The people coming into the US from Mexico very largely are refugees (which under US law are legally allowed to come to the US for asylum) who are fleeing violence and/or harsh economic conditions from all over South America. Immigrants in the US commit crimes at a lower per capita rate than natural born US citizens.
And a border wall will not help to stop the few criminals who do illegally enter the US.
Yet throughout his time in politics, Trump has scammed America's right and the world into believing that brown and poor people are flowing into the US at an unprecedented rate. Rather, he's hyped up as much as possible those long-held and propagandised views in US conservatism. He's told his followers that immigrants to the south are almost all criminals arriving to hurt Americans or steal their resources. And that a border wall only can stop that.
And he's saying it over and over just to maintain support amongst his ultra-conservative voter base and critically his ultra conservative media pundit base. Lunatics and liars like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity, who have been screaming from the rooftops for the wall are at the forfront of Trump's mind when he's flaring racial tensions across the atlantic for his own political game. He wants to keep them onside.
Well, since all of the facts counter Trump's narrative on if the wall would be helpful, buildable at all, etc, and since it's clearly a symbol of pure racism, Trump's attempt to fund the wall have been blockaded by the Democrats in Congress. See our articles on the recent US government shutdown, the longest in the nation's history, at 35 days, for more info on that.
So, without Congress granting funding for the wall, Trump's done the only thing he could do to get his money - declare a national emergency.
A national emergency is supposed to be just what it sounds like - something like an attack on the country, a mega storm or other natural disaster, an extremely contagious disease outbreak etc, each potent enough that the president can supercede his normal powers. One of them is funding - the president can order money that is congressionally ortherised for the military budget be spent on fixing the emergency.
This emergency is a scam. A lie. So Trump's abuse of this power is outrageous - as usual. But it really is another new low. It indeed brings US politics into uncharted waters, because there actually are serious problems in the US that you could declare a national emergency over, right now: the epidemic of gun deaths, of drug overdoses, of lack of health care, of climate change, of extreme poverty, etc.
A Republican president would never care enough about those to go full NE on them - but a progressive president would. And a progressive president could be right around the corner, with the 2020 elections. Would the GOP honour the precedent they are setting here, with an NE declared over say, the healthcare crisis in the US?
But there might be enough support in the fairminded voters in the country who will remember this 'emergency' to politically bludgeon the Republicans into doing so.
Shame, shame, shame on Trump and the GOP - but they might also have just cost themselves the end game.