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If Senate Democrats are united, they will need only four Republican defections to pass the a rejection of his Trump's emergency declaration and send it to his desk.

Thom Tillis says he'll vote to block President Donald Trump's emergency declaration at the border with Mexico, becoming the second Senate Republican to do so.

The former officials' statement, which will be entered into the Congressional Record, is meant to support lawsuits and other actions challenging the national emergency proclamation and to force the administration to set forth the legal and factual basis for it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to vote Tuesday on a bill opposing Trump's declaration of a State of Emergency to help fund his long-promised wall.

Among the signatories for the statement are former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, who served under Clinton, and John Kerry, who served under Obama, and former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel (Obama) and Leon Panetta (Obama).

The former security officials, in Monday's letter, cited USA government statistics showing illegal border crossings at almost 40-year lows.

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Diverting funds to the project will "undermine US national security and foreign policy interests", the 58 ex-officials wrote in the letter, first reported by the Washington Post.

Media captionOther presidents got money for a border barrier - why not Trump?

President Trump wants to build a wall at the border with Mexico, but many officials say it is not needed. "Be strong and smart, don't fall into the Democrats "trap" of Open Borders and Crime!" he tweeted.

On Friday, Trump said he would veto the measure "100 percent" if that happened. "Without strong Borders, we don't have a Country - and the voters are on board with us".

The letter, signed by former intelligence chiefs, senior government officials and Cabinet secretaries, among others, uses forceful wording to clearly define the boundaries of the president's executive powers in this situation.

The president is going against all available data and evidence and the declaration "will only exacerbate the humanitarian concerns that do exist at the southern border", the statement said.


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