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February 15, 2019

National Emergency Harms those Seeking Protection

Washington, D.C.—Following today’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the southern border, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, issued the following statement:

The only national emergency is the political one of President Trump’s own making. Threatening critical funding for the government to build a senseless wall without addressing key border security issues harms, rather than helps, our national security. And denying basic protections to vulnerable people, including women and children, who are seeking asylum at the border only further erodes our commitment to basic human rights and American values.

The United States has the world’s most powerful, professional, and well-resourced law enforcement and homeland security agencies; it’s absurd to think that we cannot safely offer protection to individuals who openly present themselves at our border to seek asylum.

For more information or to speak with Olsen contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.