Donald Trump will need to establish that a security and humanitarian “crisis” exists to build a wall on the United States-Mexico border, a politics commentator has claimed, following the US president’s ongoing consideration to declare a national emergency.
Murdoch University Senior Politics and Policy Lecturer Ian Cook said Mr Trump would have to prove to the Supreme Court that there was a threat to pay for the wall with military funds if he decided to use emergency powers, but believed it currently did not exist.
“There hasn’t seemed to be any major challenge in the situation on the border,” Dr Cook said.
“We’ve had the caravans, the people in the caravans, they were never trying to cross the border, they were just trying to get refuge.”
Dr Cook told WAMN News it was a situation where “a crisis has to be, well I think you have to say created” because the “evidence isn’t really clear”.
“There’s a lot of sort of invention I guess, is a simple way of putting it that Trump has to do and we’re seeing that invention just at the moment,” Dr Cook said.
He said that the declaration of a national emergency was still a possibility despite Mr Trump stopping short of declaring it last week during a national televised address from the Oval Office.
However, Mr Trump threatened to use the emergency powers to bypass Congress to get funding for the wall, while on a trip to the Texas border on Thursday.
It followed a meeting between Mr Trump and Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday, who said no to funding US$5.7 billion (A$7.9 billion) for the wall.
Mr Trump’s attempts to obtain funding has resulted in a partial federal government shutdown that has now entered the fourth week, leaving a quarter of employees without pay.
Dr Cook said Mr Trump’s presidency would be damaged if he was not able to build the wall, a key election commitment.
“It’s very much a put up or shut up situation and the pressure’s now come on Donald Trump to get his wall built,” he said.
“He said he was going to make it happen. He’s the deal man. He can make the deal happen.”
“The implications and consequences are massive for him going towards 2020 because he’ll have just lost one of his major selling points.”