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Summary

  1. Trump will use emergency powers to try to get his border wall funded
  2. In the past these powers have been used to impose sanctions on individuals abroad
  3. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she may file a legal challenge
  4. Republican lawmakers so far support move but influential right-wing pundits unhappy
  5. The news comes after a months-long stand-off over funding the wall
  6. Building a wall to stop illegal immigration and drugs was a key Trump campaign promise

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. The end of our live coverage

    Trump speaking in the Cabinet room in the White House on 12 Feb

    Thank you for reading all of the reaction to the news that President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency in order to get border funding.

    You can continue to get the latest updates on our main news story here.

  2. Romney 'reserves judgement'

    Mitt Romney

    Former presidential hopeful, and frequent Trump critic, Utah Senator Mitt Romney has said he will reserve judgement on Mr Trump's declaration for now.

    He did however, reiterate his view that an emergency was not the right approach.

    "I'd also expect the President to stay within statutory and constitutional limit," he tweeted.

  3. ACLU slams Trump's 'hankering for a wall'

    Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has just released a statement calling Trump's decision a "clear abuse of presidential power".

    "President Trump’s hankering for a wall at the southern border cannot be justified by calling a national emergency."

    "Shame on any member of Congress who doesn’t clearly and vigorously speak out on this illegitimate invocation of emergency authorities.

    "The chickens will come to roost when the next president uses these powers to call a national emergency on gun control or climate change."

  4. How are Hispanics affected by wall debate?

    Earlier this month, the BBC's Vicky Baker traveled to Maryland to meet members of one Latino community to try and find how the fierce political debate about immigration and the border wall was affecting them.

    Read more

    Lindolfo Carballo and Daisy Sánchez
  5. All you need to know about the wall

    The southern border has been one of President Trump's biggest policy promises - and one of his most divisive.

    Last month, we put together a collection of charts that tell you all you need to know about the long-promised wall.

    Graphic shows the wall divide between Mexico and the US

    You can read and see the rest here.

  6. Marco Rubio weighs in

    Marco Rubio

    Florida's Republican Senator Marco Rubio is just out with this statement:

    "We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the constitution."

    He writes that "today's national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose" policies opposed by Republicans.

    "I will wait to see what statutory or constitutional power the president relies on to justify such a declaration before making any definitive statement.

    "But I am sceptical it will be something I can support."

  7. 'A fight worth having'

    Lindsey Graham
    Image caption: Senator Lindsey Graham

    Axios has compiled this handy list of what Republicans have been saying about Mr Trump's plan.

    • Sen Lindsey Graham: "I think this is a political fight worth having."
    • Sen Susan Collins: "I think it's a mistake," she says adding that it is of "dubious constitutionality" and "undermines the role of Congress".
    • Sen Pat Toomey: "I never thought that was a good idea. I still don't. My view is that this is better to be resolved through the legislative process."
    • Congressman Mark Meadows: "Democrats' refusal to negotiate has rendered Congress inept at doing its job to protect Americans," he says adding that Trump "is absolutely right to use constitutional executive action authority to build the wall and secure our border."
    Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins thronged by media at the US Congress
    Image caption: Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins thronged by media at the US Congress
  8. Republican concerns about precedent

    Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican representative, has shared a statement criticising the President's decision.

    In it, she says that she shares his concern about the border - but says the emergency could set a dangerous precedent for future presidents to act alone, undermining the constitution.

    View more on twitter
  9. Parties pulled in opposite directions

    Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC Washington

    If you want to know the perceived value of compromise in the current US political climate, just look at the list of former, current and future presidential hopefuls who voted against the budget compromise legislation in the US Senate.

    Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren – all announced Democratic candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination – were among those rejecting the bill. Of the 2016 Republican entrants, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul were also "no".

    View more on twitter

    Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, a cadre of outspoken young progressives led by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have already stated their opposition in advance of a scheduled Thursday night vote because they don’t like the increased funding for immigration enforcement.

    The two parties are being pulled in opposite directions – and away from common ground. And those most in tune to the sentiments of the political base, those with higher political ambitions, are among those leading the charge.

    For the moment these "no" votes are symbolic, since the bill is expected to pass anyway. There will come a time, however, when the margins are much narrower – and the balance between principle and pragmatism will be truly tested.

    For the moment, the scale seems tilted to the former.

    Follow Anthony on Twitter

  10. Watch: McConnell announces Trump's decision

    Video content

    Video caption: McConnell: 'Trump will declare a national emergency'
  11. 'Don't take Puerto Rico funds'

    Puerto Rico Republican Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon has written to Mr Trump today to express concern over reports that he will use the national emergency to divert funds from the island territory which is still recovering from a devastating hurricane.

    She writes that the idea of taking money away from recovery funds to give them to border wall projects "that the new congressional leadership is unwilling to fully fund, creates extreme anxiety not only in the Puerto Rican community.... but also in the various states where such projects were allocated for disaster recovery and mitigation".

    "I understand the importance of securing our southern border, an effort which I have publicly supported," the Republican lawmaker notes.

    But she adds that the Caribbean island has its only border issues to deal as well as ongoing national disaster recovery.

    View more on twitter
  12. Breaking'A lawless act'

    Pelosi and Schumer

    Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement "declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall.

    "He couldn’t convince Mexico, the American people or their elected representatives to pay for his ineffective and expensive wall, so now he’s trying an end-run around Congress in a desperate attempt to put taxpayers on the hook for it.

    "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities.”

  13. A Trump tweet for everything

    Opponents to the president's decision have pointed to a Tweet he posted five years ago when he suggested Congress should stop then President Obama from using executive power to enact immigration reform.

    View more on twitter

    "I'll just leave this here," Elliot Engel, a Democrat representative from New York said while posting it.

  14. How did 2020 Democratic candidates vote?

    The 16 senators who voted against the spending bill include four Democrats who have already announced plans to run for president in 2020.

    Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris all opposed the deal, which aims to prevent the government from partially shutting down on Friday at midnight.

    Objectors included senators of both parties, as the BBC's Anthony Zurcher noted.

    View more on twitter
  15. Five questions about Trump's border wall pledge

    Video content

    Video caption: US government shutdown: Five questions about Trump's wall
  16. The border 'not a national emergency'

    Democrats in Congress have been expressing their anger at the president's decision.

    Many have taken to social media to insist that there is no emergency on the border - raising other problems they they believe are more significant.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Reacting to the news, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pointed to the issue of gun violence - given it is the one year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.

    "You want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today - the one year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency," she said.

    "Why don’t you declare that emergency Mr President? I wish you would."

  17. What exactly is a national emergency?

    The Supreme Court has never ruled on what defines a national emergency, and that definition may determine whether the president's decision is ultimately deemed lawful.

    A state of emergency is declared in times of crisis, and effectively allows the president to bypass the usual political process.

    But the question is whether the situation at the US-Mexico border really is an emergency.

    On the one hand, more than 2,000 people were turned away or arrested at the border each day during November alone. Supporters say this equals an emergency.

    Others argue the figure is far lower than a decade ago, and many of the thousands of people who travelled north from Central American countries are presenting themselves as asylum seekers, looking to enter the country legally.

    Read what experts told us about the president's emergency powers:

    Can Trump really declare a national emergency to build a wall?