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Home / Press Release / National Emergency a “National Disgrace” 
February 14, 2019

National Emergency a “National Disgrace” 

New York City—Following the White House’s confirmation today that President Trump will declare a national emergency to build a wall at the southern border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Families seeking refuge at the border are not a national emergency, but the Trump Administration’s cruel and illegal response is a national disgrace. 

From day one the president set out to systematically destroy this country’s asylum system and deny protection to vulnerable people fleeing violence and persecution. For many refugees at our southern border, the wall in essence exists already, through this administration’s illegal schemes to turn away asylum seekers and force them to wait in Mexico. 

Today’s action from the president has nothing to do with national security; it is only a desperate ploy from an administration that peddles fear and hate. 

Rear Admiral Donald Guter, former judge advocate general of the Navy, commented: 

There is no national security crisis at the southern border. There are, however, men, women, and children fleeing violence and persecution seeking freedom and safety. It is their right to seek asylum, but instead of offering protection, the administration offers the cruel and unnecessary choice of being detained or sent back to the threat of violence or even death.  

Our country already has the tools it needs to securely and humanely process those seeking protection at our border, but those systems are undermined at every turn by this protracted fixation on a wall. It is the diversion of funds for such an antiquated and ineffective project that would negatively impact national security.  

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