With President Donald Trump expected to issue a national emergency declaration as early as Friday in an attempt to subvert Congress and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the president is facing potent and angry opposition from all sides—with legal action almost certain, mass public protests being planned, and renewed talk of impeachment—as critics argue that while Trump has created a fake emergency to fulfill his xenophobic campaign promise about the wall, the real emergencies are ones he created himself and others he and Republicans continue to ignore.
“Our real national emergency is Trump & [Senate Majority Mitch] McConnell’s racist lies about Latinx & Mexican immigrants,” declared civil rights leader and anti-poverty campaigner Rev. William Barber II in a tweet late Thursday night. “It’s their denial of healthcare, racist voter suppression, & addiction to low wage jobs, ecological devastation & militarism.”
In an email to his group’s members, Public Citizen president Robert Weissman vowed to file a lawsuit to challenge the president’s declaration, but said it remains vital for the American people to raise their voices against the president. He wrote:
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), meanwhile, said that Trump has no authority whatsoever to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall:
And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the president must be “vigorously” opposed:
Kathryn Hampton, coordinator of the Asylum Network program for Physicians for Human Rights, explained that the only emergency along the border “is a human rights crisis of the administration’s own making in its denial of asylum seekers’ basic health and human rights.”
While Trump, under a national emergency declaration would seek to commandeer funds allocated for other purposes, Hampton says that current funding meant for humanitarian concerns is already “being misdirected from appropriate staffing at ports of entry, the efficient processing of asylum seekers waiting in desperation and in danger on the Mexican side of the border, and the provision of adequate medical care to those in custody.”
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