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.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6884152
DeSoto527653
Harrison366071
Jackson332666
Madison316485
Rankin312173
Lee251566
Jones234077
Forrest229468
Washington214771
Lafayette199339
Lauderdale1977122
Bolivar175064
Oktibbeha172549
Lamar154833
Neshoba1513103
Panola140326
Lowndes138057
Sunflower136943
Warren136249
Leflore133279
Pike119848
Pontotoc119616
Monroe116665
Scott114925
Copiah114533
Coahoma108926
Holmes107658
Marshall105914
Grenada102634
Lincoln102652
Yazoo102527
Simpson99841
Union96223
Tate94337
Leake93235
Adams88133
Wayne86421
Pearl River83349
Marion82832
Covington78721
Prentiss77317
Alcorn74610
Newton74222
George74013
Itawamba72921
Tallahatchie72517
Winston71819
Tishomingo64035
Attala63325
Chickasaw63124
Tippah62016
Walthall58525
Clay55916
Hancock54420
Noxubee53915
Jasper53214
Clarke51937
Smith51514
Calhoun50612
Tunica47013
Claiborne44716
Montgomery44420
Lawrence42112
Yalobusha41014
Perry38216
Humphreys36815
Quitman3595
Stone34511
Greene33316
Webster32613
Jefferson Davis31711
Carroll30612
Amite30310
Wilkinson29917
Kemper28415
Sharkey25811
Jefferson2349
Benton2081
Franklin1833
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1023
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128097

Reported Deaths: 2264
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18531332
Mobile12931288
Montgomery8546170
Madison730373
Tuscaloosa6984109
Lee557059
Shelby544649
Baldwin500347
Marshall375942
Etowah324744
Calhoun316538
Morgan311825
Houston258621
Elmore246847
DeKalb229319
St. Clair217434
Walker217480
Talladega199125
Limestone190819
Cullman179717
Dallas172526
Franklin170328
Russell16852
Autauga161924
Lauderdale159031
Colbert156024
Escambia153824
Blount148713
Jackson144210
Chilton142824
Dale127442
Covington127227
Coffee12357
Pike11289
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110742
Clarke104316
Marion90328
Butler90138
Barbour8097
Marengo69419
Winston68012
Lowndes64327
Pickens61514
Bibb6129
Hale60928
Bullock58314
Randolph58112
Lawrence57320
Monroe5708
Washington54213
Geneva5364
Perry5366
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52615
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw50731
Clay5057
Macon46619
Henry4474
Sumter41419
Fayette4088
Choctaw34212
Lamar3272
Cleburne3056
Greene29715
Coosa1573
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