Donald Trump has declared a National Emergency in an attempt to do an end-run around Congress’ denial of his request to spend billions of dollars to build a wall to satisfy his base, and Michigan’s own U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) said she has had enough.
“This president continues to try and go around the checks and balances in our government to push his racist and harmful policies. There is no national emergency, and we in Congress must stop this declaration” Tlaib said in a statement. “Americans are facing dire needs with issues such wages, poverty, and healthcare, yet Trump is fixated on vilifying and terrorizing immigrants who want to come to this country for a better life. Enough is enough. I will work with my colleagues to do everything in our power to halt this declaration.”
Meanwhile, in a letter to supporters, Tlaib said the real crisis at the border is a “self-inflicted humanitarian one, with families and children who came here seeking refuse instead housed in abhorrent conditions in prison camps.”
Indeed, the horrors of detention centers have been well-documented to this point. In June, U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) discussed her personal experience visiting such places at a time when news regularly reported how families were being separated, sometimes forcefully, and that people of all ages appeared to be in “cages.”
Tlaib, in her letter to supporters, further pointed out, “Trump has no legal right to usurp Congress’ constitutional appropriations power (by) stealing money from critical programs in order to fund his vanity project,” and therefore, “declaring a national emergency is an abuse of his presidential power.”
That is immediately followed by a link to sign a petition for Congress to move to begin impeachment proceedings. Tlaib continued, “The National Emergency Act was passed to give the President authority to act when there was a real emergency that needed action faster than Congress could provide it. It’s not a remedy for a failed negotiation.”
Tlaib spokesperson Denzel McCampbell said this was the congresswoman’s third impeachment-related petition and the second explicitly calling for his impeachment.
As of January 2019, 52 national emergencies had been called by presidents dating back to Jimmy Carter. Thirty-one are ongoing, with the longest one being blocking Iranian property, according to CNN.
Other Michigan Congressional Delegation Reaction
Among the rest of Michigan’s congressional delegation, it appeared only a handful had commented on Trump’s declaration at the point of publishing.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township) said Trump was attempting to circumvent the Constitution. “A national emergency declaration for a non-emergency is void. A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act,” he said on Twitter.
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) tweeted there was “no ‘emergency’ on our southern border. The president’s declaration is unlawful, as the Constitution clearly gives Congress the power of the purse. As a co-equal branch of government, Congress will act to defend our constitutional authorities.”
Lawrence had numerous tweets regarding the declaration, also stating that no actual emergency existed and “the facts do not support your desperate, defiant and disgraceful attempt.” She also said it was “unconstitutional and creating an invasion of hate … not stopping ‘invasion of crime.’”
Lawsuits Piling Up
Within hours of Trump’s declaration, several outlets had announced their intention to file a lawsuit or that they already had. The first was Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which argued the Department of Justice “failed to provide documents concerning the president’s legal authority to invoke emergency powers over a border wall.”
Beyond that, the state of California announced its intent to sue, as did the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and El Paso County.
“Trump’s declaration of an ‘emergency’ is an illegal abuse of power that strikes at the heart of our democracy,” the ACLU said on its Twitter page. “There is no emergency. This is an unconstitutional power grab that hurts American communities. We’ll see him in