WASHINGTON, March 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), regarding Senate passage of H.J. Res. 46, a resolution to terminate President Trump's southern border emergency declaration:
"One thing is clear after today's vote – President Trump must now defend the nation from two immigration-related emergencies; chaos at the border and a Congress unwilling to address it.
"It is reprehensible that 59 Senators – including 12 in the president's own party – decided that this state of emergency does not rise to the level of the 31 other national emergencies that are currently in effect. When the president declared national emergencies for situations thousands of miles away in Venezuela and South Sudan, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle nodded in approval. But God forbid the president operate within existing law to address a humanitarian and security crisis at our own border. Does national sovereignty mean anything anymore?
"If the current situation at the southern border does not meet the threshold of a national emergency, then Congress should just abolish the National Emergencies Act altogether. Just last month, 76,325 primarily Central American migrants were apprehended after entering the United States illegally, a whopping 31 percent increase over January and an 80 percent increase over the same period last year. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen even estimated that a million migrants will arrive at our southern border this year. And where has Congress been as this crisis has been mounting? For the most part, they either have either had their heads in the sand or have been too busy excoriating immigration law enforcement agencies for attempting to do their jobs.
"It is also worth noting that these are the same lawmakers who have remained completely silent regarding the aggressive and unprecedented misuse of authority that the select judges in the judicial branch have engaged in since President Trump took office. Not only have lower courts completely invalidated countless legitimate exercises of executive authority, they have also nullified immigration statutes passed by Congress on multiple occasions. The president of the United States is an elected position. These are unelected, unaccountable judges blatantly legislating from the bench – why hasn't Congress sought to restrain this abuse?
"President Trump did not invoke questionable Article II authority or completely disregard existing law like President Obama did when he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program. The president simply used authority expressly granted him by Congress via the National Emergencies Act to reprogram a narrow set of funds. That's it.
"FAIR stands behind President Trump's emergency declaration and supports a swift veto of this misguided resolution. Given Congressional inaction and ineptitude, we urge the White House to explore future uses of executive and inherent authority to address the more important issue of large scale catch and release – such as enacting tent cities on the border with the resources to rapidly adjudicate asylum claims. A proper deterrence must be restored."
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 2 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)