Locals Protest Trump's "Emergency" Declaration
By Robert Bernstein
On February 15, 2019 President Trump declared a national emergency with regard to the US/Mexico border. This followed a battle with Congress to secure funding for his border wall which resulted in shutting down the Federal government for over a month. Trump lost that battle.
As a result of the emergency declaration, over 270 protest events took place according to this MoveOn web page.
The event was organized by Michal Lynch and the Women's March Santa Barbara organization in coalition with other local groups. Including Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee, League of Women Voters, Democratic Women and Unitarian Universalists.
Chris Lange is most known for her tireless work to create the Ellwood Mesa park in Goleta to protect Monarch Butterfly habitat. But she spoke on a very different issue when she raised the issue of fascism. By some accounts, Trump is checking off the items on the road to fascism. This gentleman is holding one version of this list
In this case, when Trump did not get what he wanted through the democratic process of our system, he simply declared a national emergency. Here Chris Lange stands with a "PACE" flag from Italy with Mayor Murillo. The flag originated in 2002 as a peace protest against the impending war in Iraq
Here is my video of the marchers heading up State Street
And here was one of the chants: "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire"
There have been 58 uses of the National Emergencies Act from 1978-2018 according to this table.
Most of these involved blocking trade with or exports to countries declared to be a national security risk to the US. Some of these were very political, as Reagan's declarations regarding Nicaragua in the 1980s. But none of them involved taking money from one program to give to a project that Congress had refused to allocate money for. In fact, none involved allocation of money at all.
President Trump will be facing many lawsuits to stop his action for a variety of reasons. Some are Constitutional, some are legal based on the intent of the law. Some are based on the simple facts of the declaration. Trump had two years in office to build his wall and never pushed the case when he had Congress on his side. Many in authority in his own government disagree that there is a need for a wall. And many in the president's own Republican Party are concerned that this could set a precedent for future Democratic presidents.
As this sign notes, our own government has declared we are facing a real crisis when it comes to Climate Change
A future Democratic president could easily use Trump's example as a precedent to declare a climate crisis. Here is the PolitiFact fact checking on Trump's emergency declaration.
I will note that we have just returned from travels in Mexico. We flew out from Calexico and returned in San Diego. This gave us a pretty long view of the border. For the stretch that we covered, there already is a wall. The wall is not a new thing. Previous presidents and Congresses allocated money for a wall and/or fence along the border where it was considered to be effective.
And there is one action that immigration experts generally agree is far more effective than a wall: Prosecuting employers who hire undocumented workers. It is notable that Trump has opposed this measure. Perhaps it is related to the fact that his own Trump businesses have been demonstrated to hire undocumented workers.