US President Donald Trump on 15 February 2019 signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the nation. The move would unblock billions of dollars of federal money to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Trump explained the move by saying that it was essential to prevent the country from “invasion” of illegal immigrants, drug dealers and criminal cartels. The move followed a rare show of cooperation between opposition parties when the US legislators reached a tentative deal on funding for border security to avoid another government shutdown that was due to start on February 16.
According to the White House, Trump administration has so far identified up to $8.1 billion that will be available to build the border wall once the national emergency is declared and additional funds have been reprogrammed.
This includes about $601 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, up to $2.5 billion under the Department of Defence funds transferred for support for counter-drug activities and up to $3.6 billion reallocated from Department of Defence military construction projects.
New Agreement: Key Details-
1. While, the details of the new agreement have not been officially released, according to reports, the US legislators agreed to settle for a figure of $1.4 billion to build border barriers, far below Trump’s demand of $5.7 billion.
2. The agreed amount is expected to finance just a quarter of more than 322 km of the wall that Trump planned to build in 2019.
According to Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, the decision not only jeopardizes the safety of thousands of asylum seekers at the US southern border but also the integrity of US democracy.