Press Release

AALDEF condemns DHS budget agreement and Trump's national emergency declaration

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This morning, President Trump declared a national emergency in order to bypass Congress and fund his unnecessary and harmful wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. With this declaration, the President will have access to $8 billion, taken largely from Department of Defense funds that would have gone to military construction projects, to build his wall.

This comes after Congress passed a spending bill which provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new fencing along the border. The bill provides funding to raise the average number of immigrant detention beds maintained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and significantly increases the number of ICE and Customs and Border Patrol agents. This gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to expand its inhumane detention and deportation actions against immigrant communities, including Asian undocumented individuals.

Margaret Fung, AALDEF’s Executive Director, said: “The President has shown that he will go to any lengths to fund his border wall and mass deportation agenda. AALDEF believes that this unilateral action is an unconstitutional abuse of authority and will not survive the legal challenges that are certain to follow.”

Annie Wang, director of AALDEF’s Immigrant Justice Project, said: “The national emergency that was declared today is one of the President’s own making and is yet another example of this administration’s efforts to carry out its anti-immigrant agenda without Congressional authorization. The true crisis at the border is a humanitarian one where migrant children have been cruelly separated from their parents and those seeking asylum are being turned away and forced to make agonizing choices.”

For more information, contact:
Annie J. Wang, Director of Immigrant Justice Project
212.966.5932 x213,