Emergency does 'great violence' to Constitution: Democrats

Officials said the president's unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to the Constitution and makes America less safe.

US President Donald Trump. Picture: AFP.

WASHINGTON - Democrat leaders denounced President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency along the US-Mexico border on Friday as an unlawful power grab, saying it would do "great violence" to the constitution.

"The President's unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defence funds for the security of our military and our nation," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.

"This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed President, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process."