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House Democrats to Challenge Trump's Border Emergency Declaration


FILE - Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, second from right, speaks during a news conference after touring the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, in Homestead, Fla., Feb. 19, 2019.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are preparing to introduce a resolution challenging President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the country's southern border.

The resolution sponsored by Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas is set to be filed Friday, and could get a vote in the full House by mid-March.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a letter Wednesday encouraging both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to sign on as co-sponsors and said the measure would "move swiftly."

Trump declared an emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border last week after Congress passed a border security package totaling nearly $1.4 billion but without fulfilling his calls for $5.7 billion to construct a border wall.

Trump says a wall is necessary to stop immigrants and drugs from illegally entering the country. Opponents say a wall is an expensive and ineffective measure, and that border security money would be better spent on more customs agents and boosting screening technology at points of entry.

The House resolution has a strong chance of passing the Democrat-led House. Republicans control the Senate, so a number of members of Trump's party would have to go against him in order for the measure to pass there. If it does clear both chambers of Congress, it would go to Trump's desk to meet a certain veto.

In addition to the legislative challenge to Trump's declaration, there are also a number of legal challenges that have been filed in recent days. Those include lawsuits from a collection of 16 states that say they are being harmed because Trump is diverting money from other programs to pay for wall construction, as well as landowners whose property is in the potential wall's path.

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