This morning, President Trump took the extreme, dangerous step of declaring a national emergency in order to redirect federal funds to the building of a wall along the United States’ southern border. Not only is this a wholescale abuse of power, it is unjustified by the facts. There is no ongoing national emergency at the southern border under any reasonable definition of the term. The overall size of the unauthorized immigrant population has declined to its lowest level in a decade, and the number of migrants being apprehended for attempting to enter the United States without authorization is lower than it has been in decades. Furthermore, by waiting several months for Congress to ultimately reject his requests, President Trump’s own actions belie the notion that there is an ongoing emergency.
In the coming days America’s democracy will face a difficult challenge thanks to a president who cares little about the norms and institutions underpinning it, and based on racist lies he’s told about dangers posed by immigrants and families seeking refuge. Members of Congress should prioritize respect for the rule of law and the separation of powers in the Constitution by passing veto-proof legislation to terminate Trump’s bogus national emergency declaration.