El Paso County and the Border Network for Human Rights stand up to President Trump’s false national emergency and flagrant power grab.
Throughout the 2016 campaign and his presidency, Donald Trump called for the construction of a wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico. His demands were consistently accompanied by hateful rhetoric, including claims that the United States is being “invaded” by dangerous immigrants that pose an existential threat to American sovereignty.
Residents of the border community organized and engaged their elected representatives, including U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar, to demonstrate to Congress why funding border wall construction would be wasteful and harmful to the community. Their organizing and advocacy paid off when Congress denied the president’s request for $8.1 billion to build the wall.
But then, in a flagrant power grab, President Trump declared a national emergency at the Southern border to obtain funding that Congress had expressly denied. In making this official proclamation, he specifically targeted the community of El Paso, labeling it unsafe, riddled with drugs, and overrun with crime.
The president’s official attack on this American city has threatened local businesses, harmed tourism, and denigrated the reputation of a community that local residents have historically known to be safe and thriving. The community is now fighting back in court.
On behalf of the County of El Paso and the Border Network for Human Rights, a bipartisan legal team came together to seek an injunction to block the emergency declaration from taking effect. The legal team includes Protect Democracy, former Acting Attorney General Stuart Gerson, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, the Niskanen Center, and the law firms of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and O’Melveny & Meyers LLP. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
As the facts make clear, President Trump’s emergency declaration is an attempt to usurp power granted to Congress by the Constitution. This threatens our system of checks and balances, and undermines a key bulwark against tyranny. That’s why it’s imperative for the court to #EndTheEmergency.