Declaration of ‘National Emergency’ is Latest Attack on Immigrants

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, DC, February 15, 2019—Today, President Trump will declare a national emergency so that he can move forward with his xenophobic and irresponsible promise to build a border wall. The maneuver is just another example of this administration’s cruel and callous attacks on immigrant communities since his first days in office. While the Congressional budget deal avoided another disastrous partial government shutdown, we are disappointed it includes funding for increased immigration enforcement—including for more detention beds. This only serves to continue a pattern of wasteful use of taxpayer dollars to terrorize immigrant communities and separate families. The lack of additional checks and balances on spending by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is particularly disappointing and threatens the safety of immigrant families who will continue to be targeted by the immoral and reprehensible actions of these agencies.

We know that the rhetoric we will hear today, and the actions of this administration, do not represent who we strive to be as a nation. We ask Congress to stand up for their constituents and push back against this hateful and unnecessary wall. It is another sad demonstration of a White House and a president who lack empathy and moral leadership.

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The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for low-income people. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we continue to bring trusted expertise, a deeply knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to practical yet visionary approaches to opportunity for all. CLASP lifts up the voices of poor and low-income children, families, and individuals, equips advocates with strategies that work, and helps public officials put good ideas into practice. The organization’s solutions directly address the barriers that individuals and families face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status, in addition to low income. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CLASP_DC.