WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to Senator McConnell’s announcement that Donald Trump will declare a state of emergency to direct funds to build a wall on the country’s southern border, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement.
“Trump’s declaration would be a gross violation of the Constitution and an assault on the rule of law. There’s no credible argument that a state of emergency exists on our southern border. Congress should take immediate steps to stand up for our constitutional system and make clear that Donald Trump lacks the authority to make up laws when he thinks it’s convenient.
“Trump lied repeatedly to the American people about the situation on our southern border, and he’s lying if he asserts that a state of emergency exists with respect to land-based border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico. The only emergencies that exist on the border are those Trump created: a crippling change in the processing of legal asylum claims and the separation of children from their families due to inhumane border policies.
“Trump failed to make his case to a Republican-controlled Congress for this funding for two years. Congress declined to give him the funding last year, and both the House and the Senate have recently declined again. That is not an emergency. That is democracy. Attempting to engage the emergency powers of the presidency in this way by declaring a state of emergency would be an assault on democracy. Congress and the courts must not tolerate it.”