National Emergency is an Abuse of Power

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.

6 Responses to “National Emergency is an Abuse of Power”

  1. Arietta Ridgway

    It’s time Congress does it’s job! What are the Republican politicians afraid of?

  2. Henrietta Speaks

    The abrogation of our Constitution concerns me far more than a breach at the border. Stop President Trump’s blatant grab for total power. Congress, Courts, stop that man.

  3. Patty Schaller

    Thank you for this post. I’m appalled 45 declared this fake emergency. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

  4. Jim Huitt

    You have absolutely no business speaking out in a highly charged political debate on behalf of Presbyterians generally. The precipitous decline over the last two decades in PCUSA membership is much caused by members, like you, who are all too willing to lose focus on what unites and binds us and insist on cloaking your preferred policy in morality. As a tithing member of PCUSA, I ask you stop. You apparently know little about the legalities of emergency orders and seem oblivious to the very real problems on the southern border. As I stated, I resist moral cloaks for policy issues, but below, I will make the moral case for very strong border enforcement, a big part of which IS walls.

  5. Jim Huitt

    The administration, in office for only 2 years, is hardly responsible for the current immigration crisis. Lax border and immigration enforcement ( uncontrolled immigration) is immoral because:
    • It undermines the job market for the lower class with vulnerable migrants who can be forced to work for less
    • Poor migrants settle in poorer areas where school resources are desperately needed to lift third generation citizens from poverty by education. Burdening those classes with evermore children who do not speak English and may not even know their ABCs in their native language is defeating for all the children, citizen and immigrant.
    • The safety net is finite and migrants reduce what is available for poor citizens. California now spends $1 billion on welfare for illegal immigrants. Should that not go to citizens in Watts and Compton and other impoverished areas.
    • Central American countries are enabled to continue their corruption and control of the economy by a few by exporting their poor and thus alleviating pressure for change.
    • Impoverished families are incentivized to complete their state by selling every last thing they have to pay cartels to smuggle them into the USA, from which they are very likely to eventually be expelled and returned home.
    • Families are torn apart as unaccompanied minors are sent north in the care of vicious cartels promising to get the child in. There are 14,000 unaccompanied minors now in the custody of US HHS Dept. A “poison pill” inserted in the last act by Dems makes it illegal for ICE to deport ANYONE in the household where an illegal immigrant minor is housed. That greatly increases the value of minors to the cartels and adult illegal immigrants. This will end badly, for children.

  6. Michal Larraine Rosenberger

    I strong support this statement: “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.”


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