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Kushner Pushes Restraint On Declaring Emergency To Build Border Wall

Jared Kushner is lobbying for President Trump to refrain from quickly declaring a national emergency to get funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and the government shutdown, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, reportedly said in a recent Oval Office meeting that declaring an emergency, which Trump has indicated he favors, shouldn’t be used as a political tactic to rile up the president’s right-wing base.

He said that an emergency should be called only if it ensures the wall will be built.

“Let’s stop doing things just to do them,” Kushner said, according to officials familiar with the meeting.

Democrats and some Republicans believe declaring an emergency would be wrong because such a declaration is supposed to apply to actual crises such as natural disasters or immediate military needs. There is no indication that illegal immigration is a real crisis — in fact, border crossings are much lower than recent years.

If he succeeds in declaring a state of emergency, Trump is reportedly considering diverting funds earmarked for Puerto Rico hurricane relief and other disasters to building the wall, despite his repeated claims that Mexico would be forced to pay for it.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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