Opponents ready with lawsuit to challenge Trump's national emergency

Advocacy groups on Thursday said they have a lawsuit ready to go if President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg on Mueller report: 'Politically, I'm not sure it will change much' Sarah Sanders addresses false statements detailed in Mueller report: 'A slip of the tongue' Trump to visit Japan in May to meet with Abe, new emperor MORE declares a national emergency to fund construction of a border wall.

Protect Democracy and the Niskanen Center each said they are prepared to file suit on behalf of parties and communities on the U.S.-Mexico border who they say would be injured by such a declaration. Those parties include El Paso County in Texas and the Border Network for Human Rights, an immigration reform and human rights advocacy group.

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“America is governed by the rule of law and the separation of powers,” Kristie De Peña, director of immigration and senior counsel for the Niskanen Center, said in a statement. “President Trump's threat to declare a national emergency would violate both of these. Our lawsuit would aim to stop the dangerous precedent this would establish for the presidency and the immediate harm it would inflict on communities along the border.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Thursday that Trump will sign the government’s funding bill and take other executive action, including a national emergency, to stop what she said is a national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.

“The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” she said.

The Senate approved a funding bill on Thursday that includes $1.37 billion for border barriers, a fraction of the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded. The House is expected to vote on the border bill Thursday night and send the measure to the president’s desk to avoid a second partial government shutdown before a Friday night deadline.