Ex-security officials: 'No factual basis' for Trump wall

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If that measure passes the House and the Senate, Trump has vowed to use the first veto of his presidency in an effort to block it.

The joint statement by 58 former diplomats, Cabinet secretaries, intelligence officers and civil servants such as Madeleine Albright, former defense secretary Chuck Hagel and John Kerry, censures Trump's declaration, saying that there is no security issue at the U.S. -Mexico border, the Washington Post reported.

"U$3 nder 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".

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On Friday, Trump said he would veto the measure "100 percent" if that happened. More than a dozen other Senate Republicans have voiced some degree of displeasure with Trump's move, and if one more defects from their party, an impending Senate resolution will pass the Senate. The only other Senate Republican to clearly declare a vote to block the emergency is Susan Collins of ME - who, like Tillis, faces a potentially competitive re-election next year.

Tillis noted that Republicans complained when former President Barack Obama used executive powers to protect some immigrants in the US illegally. "As a conservative, I can not endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit to advance radical policies that will erode economic and individual freedoms". And he predicted that Congress would be unable to muster the votes to override his veto.

The authors hope the letter will be utilized in any lawsuit that challenges the president's emergency declaration - of which there are many.

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"There's an emergency along the border", McCarthy said in a brief interview, describing the argument GOP leaders are using to tamp down Republican opposition.

Conservatives rightfully cried foul when President Barack Obama used executive action to completely bypass Congress and unilaterally provide deferred action to undocumented adults who had knowingly violated the nation's immigration laws.

Asked in a brief interview what he would do, McConnell said, "We'll see what comes over" from the House.

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