The President has claimed if the shutdown continues, he may declare a national emergency and get his wall built that way.
I don’t think people should worry. I have a hard time believing courts would smile on this exercise of power. Immigration has always been a difficult issue for America and likely always will, but absent declared states of war there’s literally no precedent for the national emergency theory. Allowing the President to claim this particular moment is a national emergency would open the door to allowing the United States to devolve to a state of permanent national emergency. That’s the sort of thing courts are reluctant to sign off on.
This doesn’t change the fact it’s an authoritarian move as disgusting as it is blatant. “The legislature won’t let me do what I want, so I’m declaring them irrelevant and doing what I want” is the stock-in-trade of tinhorn dictators. It’s offensive, it’s unamerican, it’s beneath our national dignity. But the fact our President is a would-be Putin isn’t exactly news, either.