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America’s Voice Recommendation: Vote YES on Resolution to Block Trump’s Emergency Declaration

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On Tuesday, February 26, the House of Representatives will vote on a resolution, H.J.Res. 46, to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration. The following is a statement from Pili Tobar, Deputy Director for America’s Voice:

America’s Voice strongly recommends that Members of Congress vote YES on the resolution to block President Trump’s unconstitutional and unpopular national emergency declaration. National security experts overwhelmingly agree, there is no actual emergency along the border and zero justification for overriding the explicit wishes of Congress. The only real emergencies along the border are those inflicted by this administration, such as the ongoing trauma of their family separation policy and the hundreds of children who remain separated from their parents months after the courts ordered the administration to terminate the policy. The majority of the American people disapprove of President Trump’s power grab to build his border wall, and will be watching  to see how Republicans vote tomorrow and whether they put the Constitution ahead of their blind party loyalty to a weak and unhinged President Trump.

See below for additional background and justification behind the vote recommendation:

The emergency declaration is unconstitutional: As a recent DHS Watch statement explained, “By declaring a national emergency based on flimsy arguments in an effort to redirect funds for a border wall, money already appropriated by Congress for other purposes, President Trump is abusing his authority. Trump did this on the very day he signed a bill passed by Congress, the subject of a months-long debate, which specifically rejected much of Trump’s border wall request. This action by the President is a direct assault on the separation of powers” (see here for full DHS Watch explanation).

The emergency declaration is unpopular: The border wall and Trump’s larger anti-immigrant agenda are unpopular and growing moreso. As a poll released last week from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist found, Americans oppose Trump’s emergency declaration announcement by a 61-36 percent margin and by similar margins don’t believe there is a national emergency, think Trump is misusing his presidential powers, want the emergency declaration challenged in the courts, and say the declaration makes them “less likely” to back Trump’s potential 2020 re-election (see here for additional poll details).

The emergency declaration is at odds with national security experts’ views and military needs: As a new statement from a bipartisan group of 58 national security leaders declares, “there is no factual basis” for Trump’s national emergency declaration … “under no plausible assessment … is there a national emergency.” Also read Lara Seligman in Foreign Policy on how Trump’s national emergency plan would divert billions of dollars from military construction projects, including possible hospital and infrastructure improvements. On numerous occasions, Trump officials have made clear when given an opportunity to enumerate national security crises facing the country, a wall on the southern border to keep out Central American families seeking asylum is not among the priority issues, whether it was Vice President Pence reporting to our allies on in Munich or the the leading security agencies testifying before Congress.   

The real border and immigration crisis has been inflicted by the Trump administration – the ongoing family separation policy and related trauma: More than six months after the Trump administration was forced to “end” the policy of family separation, following massive public outcry, Alan Gomez of USA Today, a report from the Texas Civil Rights Project, and ongoing legal developments have revealed that the policy has continued, quietly and with no accountability.