US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order declaring a national emergency to get funding for his border wall.
Speaking in a televised address in the White House Rose Garden, he said: “The order has been signed and I am going to sign the final papers when I step back into the Oval Office”.
He said he expects to be sued over the order and says he is prepared to fight for it all the way to the Supreme Court, where he believes he will win because the country is facing an “invasion” of drugs and gangs from the southern border.
The move comes after he failed to get Congress to approve $5.7 billion (€5 billion) in funding for a border wall, causing a 35-day government shutdown as the president and Congress could not agree on a spending bill.
“It is not complicated. It is very simple. We are going to stop drugs coming into our country. We have far more people coming to this country than ever before”, he said.
The Republican claimed the wall would “pay for itself” because the US would save money by employing fewer border officials and members of law enforcement.
Trump cited the examples of former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton declaring national emergencies on specific issues, but did not mention the fact that they did not use the emergency powers to pay for projects Congress would not support.
Meanwhile, Trump is expected to sign a bipartisan government spending bill to avoid another government shutdown, which was due to go into force on Friday at midnight EST (6am CET).
You can watch Trump's address in full by clicking on the player above.