The White House is preparing a draft proclamation for President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border and has identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his signature border wall should he go that route, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN.
"The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency," a draft of a presidential proclamation reads.
"Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States," the draft adds.
According to options being considered, the administration could pull: $681 million from treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds, the official said.
If the declaration is made, the US Army Corps of Engineers would be deployed to construct the wall, some of which could be built on private property and would therefore require the administration to seize the land, which is permitted if it's for public use.
The draft document cites Title 10 of the US Code, which allows Trump to unlock a stash of Pentagon funds that are earmarked but have no signed contracts for spending that money. That would give the President authority to pull from military construction funds and civil works projects, like infrastructure repair projects.
Options under consideration conceded that acquiring private property would take time. Even if voluntary, the land could take up to a year to be acquired. Land condemnation cases are known to take time because property owners have the right to sue. A national emergency declaration would not speed that process up, a government official says.
- Expect a lawsuit from Congress.
- Expect a request for a temporary restraining order as the case makes its way through the courts.
- Expect lawsuits from land owners who will fight this.
Trump touts the wall in Israel as proof walls work. Let's take a look.
Meanwhile, back in the US ....
$7 Billion Wall Meets $20 Ladder in Arizona
Over 100 migrants scaled that wall in Arizona.
Eight Flawed Designs
I am sure one can make a wall design that is ladder proof.
But at what cost?
Think dollar terms but also think about property confiscation and alternatives.
And what about bomb proof? Bazooka proof?
Israel only needs a fence.
Because they will shoot anyone in that zone?
Death Wall Might Work
If you want to build a wall that works, make it a double wall each 6 feet tall, with 40 yards separating the walls.
Shoot anything with two legs that enters the zone. After a few deaths and huge public outcry, the illegal entries from Mexico would stop.
That is not a serious suggestion, I am merely stating a wall plan that would be cheaper and arguably work better.
How badly do we want to protect our borders?
Like Israel? Like the Berlin Wall after WWII?
Nothing else at reasonable cost may work.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock