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Can Trump really declare emergency at border?

CNN's John Avlon takes a look at whether President Donald Trump can actually declare a national emergency at the US-Mexico border.

Posted: Jan 12, 2019 7:04 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2019 7:34 AM

President Donald Trump said Friday he is still open to declaring a national emergency over immigration at the southern border, but made clear he would "rather not," calling it an "easy way out."

"It's the easy way out," Trump said of the national emergency route. "Congress should do this. This is too simple. It's too basic. And Congress should do this."

"If they can't do it, I will declare a national emergency. I have the absolute right to do it," Trump said.

One of the reasons Trump is reluctant to declare a national emergency: He believes his administration will be sued and that his actions will be blocked by the 9th Circuit.

"I'll be sued. It'll be brought to the 9th Circuit and maybe even though the wording is unambiguous ... we'll probably lose there, too," Trump said, adding he would "hopefully win" at the Supreme Court.

Earlier in the week, White House lawyers began laying the groundwork for the legal defense of a national emergency declaration on the southern border, officials familiar with the matter said.

Preparations for the legal challenges has included advising the President's aides on ramping up talk of a humanitarian and security "crisis" at the border, a characterization administration lawyers could use later in court to defend a national emergency.

Trump and others in the White House began using that term more frequently over the past week. The lawyers have suggested the more times the term is used, the more citations they will have in filing a legal defense.

Earlier Friday, Trump continued to bolster his case about the need to build a wall.

"I just got back and it is a far worse situation than almost anyone would understand, an invasion!" Trump tweeted following his Thursday trip to McAllen, Texas. "I have been there numerous times - The Democrats, Cryin' Chuck and Nancy don't know how bad and dangerous it is for our ENTIRE COUNTRY."

He added: "The Steel Barrier, or Wall, should have been built by previous administrations long ago. They never got it done - I will. Without it, our Country cannot be safe. Criminals, Gangs, Human Traffickers, Drugs & so much other big trouble can easily pour in. It can be stopped cold!"

Later during his roundtable, Trump reiterated his belief that the country is "under siege."

"We have a country that is being invaded by criminals and by drugs and we're going to stop it," Trump said, offering no evidence to back up his claims.

Trump's comments come despite illegal immigration being among the lowest levels historically.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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