For Immediate Release – Feb. 14, 2019
Contact: Gebe Martinez | firstname.lastname@example.org | 703-731-9505
Washington, DC — In a blatant abuse of power, the White House announced the president will sign U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding bill that is expected to reach his desk within hours, but Trump also will abuse his authority and declare a national state of emergency to increase funding for construction of the border wall he promised his minority of voters.
The appalling immigration enforcement measure that increases funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was agreed to by Senate negotiators to avoid a second government shutdown this year.
Faith in Action’s immigrants’ rights campaign, LA RED, urged rejection of the legislation because it increases detention beds and militarizes our border, while not holding the administration accountable for the abusive detention and deportation policies or for overspending taxpayers’ dollars. The bill also does not block the administration from moving money from other critical programs, such as disaster relief for Puerto Rico, to circumvent the bipartisan agreement that limited funds for the wall.
Richard Morales, policy and program director for Faith in Action’s immigrants’ rights campaign LA RED, Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action, and Rev. Michael McBride, director of Urban Strategies for Faith in Action’s LIVE FREE campaign, which is focused on ending mass incarceration and gun violence, issued the following statements:
“Trump’s planned declaration of a ‘national emergency’ is a threat to our democracy. Determined to go around Congress when he does not get enough funding for a border wall strongly opposed by voters, Trump now plans to declare the existence of a ‘national security’ threat that his own security experts say does not exist, and a ‘humanitarian crisis’ that is a disaster of his own making. Trump allowed human and civil rights abuses to be unleashed on immigrant communities, including separations of children from parents, deaths of adults and children while in custody, violence and abuse against immigrants and denial of asylees’ rights. Congress must stop this destruction of our democracy, stand up to this abuse of power and do its job by overriding the declaration,” Morales said.
“James 4:17 says “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” We as a nation are still healing from the mental, physical, and emotional toll that was put upon us whilst enduring the government shutdown. To now declare a state of emergency effectively puts us right back into that place of uncertainty,” said Rev. Herring. “This inaction, if you will, is a deliberate sin on our country that makes life even harder for our migrant brothers and sisters. It brings us further into the unknown. What we have before us is an administration that knows right, deliberately does wrong, and refuses to accept the consequences.
“Our country has many national emergencies and none of them exist at our southern border. Poverty is a national emergency, gun violence is a national emergency, but not our neighbors to the south seeking asylum and safety here in the United States,” said McBride. The leadership out of Washington has to step up. Its top leader calling for a state of emergency will only continue to divide our nation as he continues to criminalize Black and Brown bodies, pushing us further to the margins of society.”
“As people of faith, we call on Congress to act and protect the rights of our migrant brothers and sisters; to humanely respond to those seeking peace and refuge in our country, keep families together and to work to create a national immigration policy that is reflective of the values of the American people,” added Herring.
Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.
Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.