On Friday, February 15th, the President declared a national state of emergency.
What is the national emergency?
The President made this declaration in order to circumvent Congress and divert money from other agencies, including the Pentagon and the Treasury Department, to put toward construction of a border wall.
Congress has so far refused to fund such construction at the levels demanded by the administration. They have, however, just passed a spending deal that would increase funding for harmful border barriers and allow immigration enforcement to continue detaining a record high number of people.
Every day Columbans at the border see how migrants are abused as they arrive seeking safety and security, and how militarization endangers border communities themselves. We know that real problems deserve real solutions.
So what is the real emergency?
The humanitarian and moral crisis created by the policies of this administration, and a lack of real efforts to address the root causes of migration. Instead of focusing on real and immediate problems, the administration is relying on subversive discourse to hijack government institutions and disregard the common good.
By declaring a national emergency, the administration will unnecessarily pull funding from other programs to put toward a policy that has been proven time and again to be wasteful, unnecessary, and inhumane.
So what can be done?
Congress has an important role to play here. They must hold the president accountable for this decision while also exercising their powers of oversight and the purse to ensure this outcome does not become the new normal. We cannot continue to increase the tools and funding for agencies and policies that have proven time and again to undermine our nation’s sacred responsibility to care for the most vulnerable (Mt 25: 31-46).
Send a message to your Member of Congress today and urge them to oppose this declaration of a national emergency!
Find the Columban Center’s statement here.
Find a statement from faith leaders across the country on the morality of a border wall here.
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