February 22, 2019
On February 15, 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning the southern border of the United States. This declaration came just days after Congress passed a budget that provided only a fraction of the requested funding for “border barriers.” Sixteen states have joined in lawsuits to challenge Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.
PIVOT unequivocally and unapologetically denounces the declaration of emergency. This declaration constitutes a blatant abuse of power on the part of the president. Trump is misusing his emergency powers to unilaterally fund an ineffective and unnecessary wall that Congress specifically declined to fund after 35 days of an unprecedented government shutdown. Furthermore, the premise for Trump’s use of emergency powers is completely false. Trump cited the need to “stop drugs” and “criminals and gangs” from coming into the U.S., but in fact legal ports are the more typical mode of entry for most drug and possibly for human trafficking, rather than illegal entries along the Southwest borders. The wall is symbolic of Trump’s concrete stance against immigrants, and builds on his existing attacks on all immigrants - from restricting asylum to refugees, to barring immigrants by country, to denying immigrants a lawful permanent residence for using basic services such as health care and food assistance, to revoking citizenship for immigrants.
We support the efforts to challenge the emergency declaration in court as well as House Democrats’ efforts to block the declaration. We call on communities across the country to demand their elected representatives to hold Trump accountable for his reckless and unconstitutional actions.