In order to bypass the US Congress for the border wall he vowed to erect, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to construct a massive wall alongside the southern border of the country, to prevent illegal immigration and stop illicit drugs flowing in from Mexico.
The maneuver was being legally challenged barely hours after it was implemented. Three Texan landowners sued the emergency decision claiming that the projected wall would violate their property rights.
“We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system,” read a letter written by the Democrats of the House of Representatives to the president denouncing his move.
Hours after the emergency declaration, the House announced that its judiciary committee had launched a probe into the action of Trump.
Friday also saw Trump signing a bipartisan government spending bill to prevent yet another government shutdown.
An unprecedented 35-day shutdown had lasted through December and January as the row between Congress and White House over the funding of the wall escalated with no signs of compromise from both sides.
Critics day a wall will have little impact on curtailing illegal immigration and drug-trafficking as statistics show illegal immigration across the border is at a 20-year low and majority of the illicit drug trade takes place through legal entry ports.
Trump dismissed those statistics saying that they are “wrong”.
Some Republicans are concerned about setting a precedent with the emergency declaration by Trump to fund the wall.
“Most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing president would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress,” said Senator Thom Tillis in a statement after the declaration.