CREDO Action

Tell Congress: Revoke Trump's national emergency declaration

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The petition to Congress reads:

"Defend our families, friends, communities and democracy from Trump. Revoke his emergency declaration."

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    Tell Congress: Revoke Trump's national emergency declaration

    We need all hands on deck. Donald Trump just declared a national emergency so he can build his border wall without congressional approval.

    This unconstitutional power grab gives Trump vast new powers to undermine our democracy and supercharge his white supremacy. He'll be more able than ever to escalate attacks on immigrants, communities of color, Muslims, and Black and Brown people.

    Congress gives a president who declares a national emergency far too much power and does far too little to check it. In the hands of a racist autocrat like Trump, these powers are even more terrifying. We must demand that Congress rein him in now.

    Tell Congress: Revoke Trump's national emergency and rein in presidential emergency powers.

    Trump's national emergency is completely manufactured. The only crisis on our southern border is the one that he has spent the last two years creating. But that doesn't make it any less dangerous. Declaring a state of emergency gives Trump access to more than 100 special powers that allow him to override the laws that protect our civil rights and civil liberties and unleash a range of nightmarish scenarios at the border and in communities across the country.1

    Under a state of emergency, Trump can:2

    • order the military to round up immigrants or stop protests in American cities.
    • order the killing or indefinite detention of people he designates as enemies.>
    • freeze assets and block financial transactions of people who hire, house, or provide paid legal representation to asylum seekers.
    • block access to websites and social media tools or disrupt email communication.

    The idea that emergency powers invite abuse against communities of color is not hypothetical. Franklin Roosevelt used these powers to round up U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese descent in internment camps.3 George W. Bush used them to engage in warrantless wiretapping and deportation that particularly targeted Muslim communities after the 9/11 attacks.4 Under Trump, we can be sure that emergency powers will again disproportionately target communities already most at risk of surveillance, law enforcement abuse, incarceration, deportation and racist scapegoating – in particular, immigrants, Muslims, and Black and Brown people.

    Congress has the power to revoke Trump's declaration of emergency, but it will only happen if Democrats in the House of Representatives lead the way. If the House acts, then the Senate will have to vote as well. That means Republicans will have to go on record with a vote to defend the Constitution and our communities or endorse Trump's illegal power grab.

    We must keep pushing to make sure Congress asserts its authority and immediately votes to revoke Trump's emergency declaration. Trump himself is the emergency, and Congress has the power – and responsibility – to respond.

    Tell Congress: Revoke Trump's national emergency and rein in presidential emergency powers.

    References:

    1. Elizabeth Goitein, "What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency," The Atlantic, January/February 2019 Issue.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.

    Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images