US Supreme Court Gives Go-ahead For Trump Wall Funding
-Williams Shekinah, ABH Press
The US Supreme Court has said that President Donald Trump can use $2.5bn (£2bn) of Pentagon funds for a section of wall on the southern border.
The court ruled by five votes to four to block a ruling by a federal judge in California that barred the president from spending the money on the wall.
The wall, dividing the US and Mexico, was Mr Trump’s major campaign promise during the 2016 election. It is fiercely opposed by Democrats. The decision by the Supreme Court means that the money will be used for wall projects in California, Arizona and New Mexico.
The president has argued that a new wall would help to curb illegal immigration, which he says is fuelling crime and placing a strain on the economy.
Democrats say they are in favour of border security but the wall would be expensive and ineffective. They argue that Mr Trump has manufactured the border emergency and that the wall has become a symbol of Trump’s anti-immigration platform.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “This evening’s Supreme Court ruling allowing Donald Trump to steal military funds to spend on a wasteful, ineffective border wall rejected by Congress is deeply flawed. Our Founders designed a democracy governed by the people – not a monarchy.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has vowed to seek an expedited decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “to halt the irreversible and imminent damage from Trump’s border wall”.
According to US authorities, 104,344 people were arrested along the southwest border in June – a 28% drop from the previous month.
The Trump administration claims the decrease is due to new policies with Mexico to curb migration, including increased security on the Mexican side of the border, and the expansion of a scheme that makes asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases are being processed.
The UN Missing Migrants project reports that 170 migrants have died or are missing on the US-Mexico border so far in 2019 – including 13 children.
The Department for Homeland Security says “we are still in an ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis”.
The number fell in President Trump’s first year but rose again last year – but even before the increase, when migration numbers were at historic lows, Mr Trump described the situation on the border as a national security crisis.