A bipartisan group of 58 senior national security officials will issue a statement saying "there is no factual basis" for President Trump's proclamation of a national emergency to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The The joint statement, whose signatories include former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former defense secretary Chuck Hagel, will come a day before the House is expected to vote for a resolution to block Trump's Feb. 15 declaration
The former officials' statement, which will be entered into the Congressional Record, is intended to support lawsuits and other actions challenging the national emergency proclamation and to force the administration to set out the legal and factual basis for it.
"Under no credible evidence assessment there is a national emergency today that empowers the president to tap into funds allocated for other purposes to
Albright served under President Bill Clinton, and Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, served under President Barack Obama.
Also signing were Eliot A. Cohen, State Department counselor under President George W. Bush; Thomas R. Pickering, President George H.W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations; John F. Kerry, Obama's second secretary of state; Susan E. Rice, Obama's national security adviser; Leon E. Panetta, Obama's CIA director and defense secretary; as well as former intelligence and security officials who served under the Republican and Democratic administrations.
Trump's national emergency declaration followed by a 35-day partial government shutdown, which came after Congress, did not approve of the $ 5.7 billion he sought to build a wall. 19659009] In announcing his declaration, Trump predicted lawsuits and "possibly. . . a bad decision, and then we'll get another bad decision before winning the Supreme Court.
The 11-page declaration of the former security officials, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, sets out their arguments disputing
Among other things, they said, illegal border crossings are almost 40 years low. Undetected unlawful entries at the U.S.-Mexico border were reduced from 851,000 to nearly 62,000 between 2006 and 2016, they said, citing the Department of Homeland Security statistics.
Contrary to the president's assertion, there is no documented emergency in the southern border related to terrorism or violent crime, they said, citing administrative reports and independent think tank analyzes.
Similarly, they state that there is no emergency situation in the trafficking of drugs, which can be addressed by a wall along the southern border, noting that "the vast majority of opioids"
They also argue that redirecting money in accordance with the national emergency declaration "will undermine the US "And they say," a wall is unnecessary to support the use of the armed forces, "as the administration has said.
Some of the same former officials wrote a joint statement disputing the facts For the president's order shortly after he took office in January 2017, he was barring entry to foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The former officials asserted that the order was not based on a bona fide national security assessment but "deliberate political decision to discriminate against a religious minority."
Their views were filed as a joint declaration and later as a friend of -the court brief in lawsuits is challenging the original order and subsequent revisions, and it was cited by almost every federal judge who enjoined the ban. By the time the challenges reached the Supreme Court, the administration had significantly narrowed the ban, which the high court upheld in a vote of 5 to 4.
With regard to the declared state emergency, the complainants filed two cases in the District of Columbia, two in California and one in Texas.