President Donald Trump's latest plan for border wall raises the question: What is a national emergency? And is it legal?

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 7:57 p.m.

    @Eponymous Eggplant
    RE: "42 national emergencies declared between 1976 and 2007. Easily confirmed with readily available information on the web. Yet not mentioned in the article
    ---
    Yes it is.
    Google "National Emergency Act - Wikipedia"
    Scroll down to "Background" section (2nd section).
    ---
    "Presidents have continued to use their emergency authority subject to the provisions of the act, with 42 national emergencies declared between 1976 and 2007.

    Tell us again how it's not mentioned in the article.

    ===

    RE: "This was a highly inappropriate use of the press in order to stoke anti-Trump alarmism"...
    ---
    More inappropriate than a National Emergency for Inflation? (Carter).

    Not alarmed. Obama built sections of wall. Wasn't alarmed.

    We just need to do it. Border-Security is part of National-Security (our Federal Government's #1 responsibility).

    Preventing the wall from being built is not the most important thing in the world (unless you're a Democrat). Not worth shutting down government

    ===

    RE: "The press seriously injures its credibility when it publishes articles like this one. Stop the propaganda"...
    ---
    LOL

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:15 p.m.

    @ Joe Leaphorn - Scottsdale, AZ

    Try doing some research into the Constitutional legality of what a president can do. Your using your own misinformation to delude yourself.

    See uscode house gov. Get enlightened.

    Previous presidents have done the same thing to protect other nations. Glad we now have a President willing to protect our Nation.

  • Eponymous Eggplant Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:47 a.m.

    42 national emergencies declared between 1976 and 2007. Easily confirmed with readily available information on the web. Yet not mentioned in the article.

    Let's be frank. This was a highly inappropriate use of the press in order to stoke anti-Trump alarmism. When you whip the gullible into a frenzied state, there's no telling what might happen.

    The press seriously injures its credibility when it publishes articles like this one. Stop the propaganda now.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 8:02 a.m.

    In November 2014 trump appeared on FOX News, and while blasting Obama for using executive action regarding immigration and Mexico, trump said, " "Now he has to use executive action and this is a very, very dangerous thing that should be overwritten easily by the Supreme Court."

    Trump was also asked if the Obama had committed any impeachable offenses. He said Obama could certainly be impeached for his executive action on immigration.

    "Well, he certainly did something that was unconstitutional," Trump said. "Now, it depends on Justice (John) Roberts. If he wants to just curry favor in the Beltway like he did with Obamacare, because that's the only reason he did it. Because he knows he was wrong, but it certainly depends on what happens. I mean, I think certainly he could be impeached and certainly they could shut down the government."

    And in a Tweet in November 2014, trump wrote : "Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress."

    But now ?

    Make America Sane Again and impeach trump

  • rickbreneman Paducah, KY
    Feb. 15, 2019 7:44 a.m.

    The hypocrisy of the left is inconceivable. How often have we heard, "If banning guns saves the life of one child, it should be done."?

    If building a wall will save the life of one child, will prevent one child from a life of sex slavery, will stop one shipment of illegal narcotics from entering the country, why shouldn't a wall be built?

    There are current 28 national emergency declarations in effect. Explain how:

    Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (Mar. 6, 2003)

    Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (Nov. 23, 2015)

    Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (May 12, 2014)

    are more important than protecting the Southern border of the United States.

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 6:42 a.m.

    I'm hoping that President Trump declares a national emergency and diverts defense department money to build a wall. I'm also hopeful that the Supreme Court rules his action as constitutional. That way when Elizabeth Warren is elected to the Presidency in 2020, she can declare gun violence to be an emergency and take reasonable actions to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those that are likely to abuse them.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Feb. 15, 2019 5:32 a.m.

    No one disputes a President's power to declare a national emergency.

    Many, the majority of us, dispute the President's decision to do so over his political promises to his base.

    After all, if he loses his base, as might be likely if he seen as caving to Democrats and 'squishy' Republicans, then he loses any chance of keeping his office.

    Any reasonable, informed individual knows this is a political stunt by Trump to keep the fig leaf of support in place. The Administration knows their case is flimsy, and that lawsuits will inevitably ensue. However, this will keep the issue burning bright in the eyes of the ultra-Conservative anti-immigrant crowd so prominent in the GOP.

    As PT Barnum said.... This bright shiny faux controversy is meant to distract and not solve a problem.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 4:13 a.m.

    In response to Trump's national emergency Nancy Pelosi said somewhere down the road a national emergency could be declared about guns. Good luck with that. What's that old saying? 'Pry it out of my cold dead hands'? Every time Democrats starting impeding access to guns sales skyrocket. Trump will win on this.

  • Shuzzie53 , 00
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:38 a.m.

    The national emergency started on November 9, 2016, and continues to this date.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:06 a.m.

    National Emergency?

    * Are Americans being drugged to death?
    * Are Americans being kidnapped and held for ransom. Sold as slaves?
    * Has innocent Americans been killed?
    * How has California been affected by illegal immigrants?

    If a wall save lives. Is it worth building?

  • Joe Leaphorn Scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:05 a.m.

    n8ive american - Shelley, Idaho
    Feb. 14, 2019 8:46 p.m.

    "Already proven that Trump has the legal and Constitutional authority to declare a National emergency and build the wall."

    And where do you get that piece of misinformation? I would suggest you read Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution before you get too excited about what Donald Trump thinks he has legal authority to do.

    Also, there are at least a half-dozen lawsuits waiting to be filed as soon as Trump invokes a national emergency. This would be the first national emergency to appropriate money for some fantasy. All previous national emergencies had bipartisan support which this on will be the only one that does not. In addition, it will not have complete Republican support as many Republican senators have expressed their opposition to such a declaration.

    Finally, it has been suggest that Nancy Pelosi put forward a legislation under the National Emergencies Act and have a vote where Congress can nullify any declaration Trump may make. This only requires a majority in both the House and Senate. If enough Republicans (4) join with Democrats in a a resolution of disapproval, Trump will have failed once again.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    Feb. 14, 2019 11:57 p.m.

    "This country was founded by Europeans. The majority of green cards should go to them to keep families together."

    Yeah, race-based immigration policies favoring white Europeans goes well beyond dog whistles. We see what you're saying.

    "Compare that to the 11-22 million people here illegally. Overstays are not the majority."

    Except that they are. It's clear from DHS data that 2/3s of illegals are visa overstays. Citing the annual overstay figures and then saying they make up only a fraction of the total number of illegals and therefore they aren't the problem is ignoring how those people got here in the first place. You're not making a case at all.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 10:11 p.m.

    Majority of illegal immigrants came over the border, DHS At the end of FY 2017, reported there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays. The overall Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 1.15 percent of the expected departures.

    Compare that to the 11-22 million people here illegally. Overstays are not the majority.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 9:27 p.m.

    Google "National Emergencies Act - Wikipedia" and read some of the other times it's been used, and the things it can be used for. A lot of Presidents have used it. It's not against the law (though I'm sure somebody will sue him). That's where we are as a country now days.

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    Feb. 14, 2019 8:46 p.m.

    Already proven that Trump has the legal and Constitutional authority to declare a National emergency and build the wall.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 8:44 p.m.

    An emergency is defined as a situation that poses an immediate risk. It can’t be a situation that has always existed, and will always exist.

    In order to win this case, the White House must prove that something significant has changed in this country that could do our nation significant harm if immediate action is not taken.

    Evidence will be required, good luck with that White House lawyers.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 8:27 p.m.

    This is trump at his finest, a three year old manchild holding his breath to get what he wants. It's about him, and what he wants. It's not about us, or anyone except him. He is, from what I can see, a horribly underdeveloped person. His qualities, in any non moneyed individual, would leave them ostracised by most anyone. He can't act in the interests of the nation; he can't act in the interests of a playground were he to find himself on one.
    Really, he has to go.

  • Joe Hilll Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 8:07 p.m.

    Trump made comments on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" in November 2014 when asked about executive actions by then-President Barack Obama that would halt deportations for the undocumented parents of children born in the United States.
    "Now he has to use executive action and this is a very, very dangerous thing that should be overwritten easily by the Supreme Court," Trump said.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 6:52 p.m.

    Like most of the court cases Trump is involved in, he looses. This one won't be any different. So much losing.........

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 6:35 p.m.

    furymouse

    This country was founded by Europeans. The majority of green cards should go to them to keep families together. Instead only 17% are given green cards. Blacks have it even worse, with 6%,

    Legal and illegal immigration is destroying the country. If culture appropriation is wrong, then it works both ways.

  • Janet Pete Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 5:59 p.m.

    SLars - Provo, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 4:22 p.m.

    Are we going to let people in illegally to change our culture, and our racial makeup by breaking laws?

    Although I was with you about not letting people enter the country illegally, most undocumented immigrants came into this country legally and over-stayed their visas. You do know that, right? We have a 40-year trend of decreasing number of undocumented immigrants coming across our southern border. However, there are no statistics for those coming across our northern border. However, while no terrorist has been caught attempting to cross our border with Mexico, one has been caught trying to cross through a port of entry with Canada.

    It appears your greatest fear is "foreigners" coming who change "our" culture and racial makeup. I beg to question, since we have immigrants (legal) from all over the world, so whatever you fear has already been done. And I would say that your ancestors came here, changed the culture and racial makeup of the nation as it existed before they arrived. So where's the concern about them? My ancestors were here long before the white man came settled on our land. Where do you get off complaining about immigrants?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 5:54 p.m.

    I don't know why Democrats and the Press is so freaked out about this. I guess because it's Trump this time? Because lots of Presidents have declared National Emergencies, often for smaller things than border security.

    Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat) declared a National Emergency because he thought we didn't have enough ships to carry products to consumers abroad and within the USA.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) declared several emergencies without limiting their scope or duration,

    There was one for the 1933 banking crisis with respect to the hoarding of gold

    The 1970 emergency regarding a postal workers strike,

    The 1971 emergency in response to inflation.

    There have been as many as 500 by one count (Source Wikipedia)

    42 national emergencies were declared between 1976 and 2007

    This isn't new. It's just Trump doing it this time. That's the Only reason it's a problem (for Democrats and those in the media)

    What the press is trying to do today is so transparent to me. Still trying to prove that they got it right when they called it for Clinton before the election even happened.

  • Mad Hatter Santa Fe, NM
    Feb. 14, 2019 5:32 p.m.

    SLars - Provo, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 4:22 p.m.

    "No matter how you look at it, 11-22 million people in this country illegally is serious."

    Two things:

    1. The number of undocumented residents in the United States have nothing to do with an "emergency" as they are honest, hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding residents. Here illegally, but not causing any problem.

    2. A majority of undocumented immigrants have over-stayed a visa and did not come from illegally crossing our southern border. They come by air and have nothing to do with Donald Trump's vanity project.

    It appears that supporters of Trump's Wall refuse to acknowledge these two facts, which doesn't affect their thinking in using tax money to pay for something so useless and inconsequential in achieving border security.

    So Trump builds more fencing out in the middle of the desert (or confiscates private property in Texas) to stop the "caravans" that never come. It is the fevered dreams of Trump's most loyal supporters that Trump will build his wall and it will do what he claims. And it will, because he will tell them what a find achievement he has made, and criminals and crime has been stopped except where it hasn't.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 5:05 p.m.

    Impartial,
    If you listened, President Trump wanted congress to act on the emergency. Neither party is willing to deal with the emergency. And as for Mullers findings, unfortunately for you there aren’t any.

  • furymouse Draper, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 4:58 p.m.

    @slars
    "Are we going to let people in illegally to change our culture, and our racial makeup..."

    And there it is. You do understand that all cultures and races make up our country right?

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 4:50 p.m.

    The United States declared a national emergency on September 14, 2001 in response to the September 11, 2001.

    That was an emergency, trumps vanity wall is Not an emergency, wasn't when he claimed Mexico would pay for it either. What a pathetic leader, he is willing to turn America upside down to get his way, this is what dictators do though.

    There's been a running series on dictators on PBS, Donald has employed ever one of the items in the dictators handbook, but since he has no military background, or backing, he is like a neutered dictator, with little actual power should he try and use it against our constitution.

    Though it appears his minority support would embrace dictator Donald with open arms.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 4:17 p.m.

    Good decision, very pleased to see.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 14, 2019 4:15 p.m.

    If it's really an "emergency" then why didn't Trump act upon it in December, when he first called it an emergency? That would be dereliction of duty for him to ignore it for 2 months. It's not an emergency, the courts will stop him, and it's just another attempt to distract Americans from Mueller's findings. Trump is going down, but we need GOP "Patriots" in congress to prevent Trump from taking our country down with him.