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February 27, 2024

Panetta on Trump push for border wall: ‘Evidence doesn’t prove an emergency’

Courtesy of Congressman Jimmy Pancetta:

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a joint resolution to terminate the National Emergency Declaration at the U.S.-Mexico border by President Donald Trump.

“Today, the House voted to nullify the President’s declaration of a fictitious emergency at our nation’s southern border. As set out in the National Emergencies Act (NEA), the President has the power to declare an emergency, but he cannot contrive the emergency in order to circumvent Congress and our constitution.

“Our national policies, including the security of our borders, must be based on substance rather than on slogans. Clearly, the evidence doesn’t prove an emergency. Apprehensions at the border are down 75%, the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. is at the lowest level since 2004, and 80-90% of the vast majority of drugs are seized at points of entry. The Directors of National Intelligence, the FBI, and the CIA, did not mention the southern border when recently testifying in front of the U.S. Senate about the threats to our national security. Moreover, the President has not made this type of a declaration during the past two years. In fact, he stated at the announcement of the emergency declaration that he “didn’t need to do this.”

“Democrats and Republicans support strong border security. Congress recently passed a bipartisan budget with funding for barriers, border patrol officers, aircraft, sensors, and scanners at the southern border. To properly secure our border, every tool of the 21st century, including infrastructure, technology, and personnel, must be considered and utilized. A contrived emergency under the NEA just to build a wall must not be part of that tool box.

“Fortunately, our Founding Fathers based our government on a system of checks and balances. We must not allow the administration to usurp Congress’ power of the purse. The House exercised our powers under the constitution, and the law, to terminate this declaration. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same.”