The President has just declared a national emergency to circumvent Congress and the U.S. Constitution, in order to proceed with plans to build a border wall. The only crisis at our southern border is the humanitarian crisis manufactured by this administration. The current administration has separated children from their families, undermined child and asylum protections, and fueled the militarization of border communities. Instead of focusing on real immediate threats to our communities, this administration wrongfully threatens our democracy, expands family separation, andmilitarizes our neighborhoods. As people of faith and conscience, we must urge our national leaders to oppose this immoral and unconstitutional national emergency declaration today!
Click here to Tell Congress to Oppose the Unconstitutional National Emergency
Of the President’s decision to declare a national emergency at that same time that he signed the spending bills that will avert a second disastrous government shutdown, the Reverend Jimmie Hawkins, Director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness said,
“The only emergency at the southern border is a humanitarian crisis of the Administration’s own making. If we’re talking about national emergencies, let’s talk about the migrant children who have been separated from their parents with no plans by the U.S. government for reunification. Let’s talk about the 1,200 children who have died by gun violence since the Parkland shooting only year ago. Let’s talk about the 30 million people who don’t have access to health insurance in the United States. Let’s talk about global climate change, which is fundamentally changing our planet and endangering lives and livelihoods around the globe. These are true emergencies, but none of them will be addressed by fencing along the southern border.
“President Trump’s national emergency is nothing more than an end run around Congressional authority. The Constitution enshrines the separation of powers, precisely to prevent this type of over-reach. Congress must take swift action to defend against this emergency declaration, not only because this particular use of emergency powers is abusive, but also because our system is founded on a system of checks and balances. Congress must stop abdicating its authority to any President.
Indeed, it is the role of Congress, according to the U.S. Constitution, to spend the nation’s money. The Executive should not have the power to subvert the will of Congress, except through veto power, which the President has declined to use in this case. Instead of using emergency funds to build an ineffective wall and further militarize our nation’s border, we should be hiring more judges, lawyers, and social workers to help clear the backlog of court cases for asylum seekers. Congress must take immediate action to stop this abuse of power.