Former Foreign Policy Officials Pen Letter Opposing Border Wall

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The battle in Congress is the latest chapter in a long-running war between Trump and Democrats over border security, immigration policy and the "great, great wall" that Trump has pledged to build since becoming a presidential candidate.

Last week, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she doesn't support the president's decision to invoke a national emergency, CNN reported. Hurd, whose district spans more than 800 miles of the U.S. -Mexico border, almost lost his seat last November in one of the nation's closest congressional races. "As a conservative, I can not endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit".

US House lawmakers on Tuesday are expected to pass a Democratic measure annulling President Donald Trump's declared emergency on the southern border, an effort that appeared to earn growing support among Senate Republicans. They also pointed to other government data on drug trafficking that showed most opioids enter the country via legal entry points - something they said a border wall would not stop.

Trump's Feb 15 emergency declaration gives him access to billions of dollars to construct his wall on the Mexican border, beyond the almost US$1.4 billion that Congress allocated for construction of border barriers.

Senator Thom Tillis questions Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 27, 2018. This would be the first veto President Trump has issued since taking office. "Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the President to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border".

McConnell's reticence on the highly charged issue came as internal GOP opposition to Trump's wall continued to build, with three GOP senators publicly saying they plan to vote with Democrats and against the President on the declaration and many more refusing to say whether or not they'll stand with the president.

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Republicans have said Democrats likely do not have the votes - two-thirds majorities required in both chambers - to override a Trump veto. The House is set to vote on the resolution Tuesday, and it is likely to pass in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

Republican Senator John Barrasso, a member of the Senate's leadership, told MSNBC in an interview that the legislation "may actually pass the Senate".

Democrats in the Senate, need all of their members, plus four Republicans, to vote together to overturn the declaration. The divided legislature rejected his proposal and the President eventually accepted its bill for $1.375 billion in border security measures.

Tillis said Congress must defend its power of the purse and warned that a future Democratic president might abuse the power to advance "radical policies".

There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there's an imaginary asterisk attached to executive overreach - that it's acceptable for my party but not thy party. "There is no crisis at the border", said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who was in El Paso, Texas, with a number of other Democrats over the weekend.

Sixteen states and several groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have filed suit to block the national emergency declaration.

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