DONALD Trump shut down the US government for 35 days after Democrats refuse to fund his border wall.
Now his national emergency order to release military funds has run into a legal block. Here’s the latest.
Getty Images A border wall was a key promise in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign
Why did Donald Trump shut down the US Government?
Donald Trump vowed to shut down the government in a fiery Oval Office meeting with Democrat leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
They were refusing to bow to his demands for $5.7billion to build a 200-mile barrier.
The shutdown began on December 22, 2018, and lasted a record 35 days until January 25, 2019.
Mr Trump threatened a second shutdown which was averted with a deal between Democrats and Republicans to provide just over $1bn for the wall.
The president still insists the wall is needed to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Why did Donald Trump declare a national emergency?
On Februaqry 15, the president went through with his earlier threat to invoke a national emergency by presidential order.
That gives him an extra $6.7billion – diverted from military spending – for a wall he says is needed to stop drugs and migrants from entering the US.
He said in the White House Rose Garden: “Everyone knows that walls work.
“We have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people, and it’s unacceptable.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border.”
Families of people killed by migrants were invited to the speech.
Critics have accused Mr Trump of manufacturing a crisis for political reasons.
Democrats say the order is unconstitutional as Congress must agree spending.
And the 16 states plan to use the president’s own words against him in their legal challenge.
Mr Trump said on Friday he did not need to declare an emergency but wanted to speed the process of building the wall.
The lawsuit says: “By the president’s own admission, an emergency declaration is not necessary.
“The federal government’s own data prove there is no national emergency at the southern border that warrants construction of a wall.”
What’s the latest?
Trump is being sued by 16 US states claiming he “illegally” declared a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall.
Trump used executive powers to gather the £4.4billion to build the wall after Congress only allocated him £1.09billion – falling well short of his demands.
The most recent budget deal passed by Congress was to avert a second government shutdown.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a statement yesterday declaring the move to bypass Congress and use money from the Pentagon and other budgets unconstitutional.
Joining the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.
Alamy Part of the Mexican border fence that already exists in Arizona
Will the wall get built?
There is likely to be a delay after 16 US states filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump to “block his misuse of presidential power”.
They say the emergency order would cost them millions in federal funding that will be diverted to the wall.
California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said: “We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states.”
The White House has not commented on the court filing, but Mr Trump has previously acknowledged his decision would face a legal challenge.
It could end in the Supreme Court, which has a conservative leaning after Mr Trump controversially appointed Brett Kavanaugh.
Mr Trump has previously insisted Mexico would pay for the wall.
How much will the wall cost?
The US Department of Homeland Security estimates the wall will cost £17billion, according to a leaked report.
However some estimates are as high as $67billion.
Its plan says the construction should take place in three stages and be made up of both fences and walls covering around 1,000 miles.
Senator Ted Cruz has suggested El Chapo could see his £12billion fortune used to pay for Donald Trump’s border wall as part of tough new anti-trafficking laws.
Trump unveiled a crude design of his spiked Mexico border wall, which he called ‘beautiful’
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What will the wall look like?
One bidder for the Mexican wall contract wants to cover it with solar panels, while another wants to make a barrier big enough for a deck offering tourists scenic views of the desert.
The deadline for bids has passed and prototypes were submitted in September 2017.
Designs must be able to repel pickaxes and sledgehammers for at least an hour and be nice to look at – at least from the north side.
Concrete Contractors Interstate proposed a polished concrete wall augmented with stones and artefacts that are tailored to different sections of the 2,000-mile border.
But in December 2018 Trump tweeted a picture of a “steel slat barrier” which he declared “beautiful”.
US government partially shut down in fight over Trump’s border wall