Activists are protesting in Washington and various U.S. cities Monday to demonstrate against President Donald Trump's declared state emergency that he’s using in order to obtain some US$8 billion to fund 376 km of his proposed fortified wall the White House wants to see built between Mexico and the United States.
Trump Declares National Emergency to Fund His 'Racist' Wall
The organizers of the D.C. demonstrations, non-profit organization MoveOn.org, are also helping to arrange protests in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco this Presidents' Day.
Under the hashtag, #PresidentsDay, MoveOn says it’s rallying supporters to march “against Trump's fake crisis and racist deportation force and to stand with immigrant, Muslim, and Black and brown communities to stop Trump's dangerous and illegal power grab.”
Demonstrators at the Washington march shouted “shame, shame, shame” as activists gave speeches against the wall and the inhumane Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers that asylum seekers from around the world are being detained in indefinitely under the Trump administration.
“ ‘No’ to the racist deportations forces and to the fake state of emergency” said one speaker at the MoveOn Washington rally.
Last Friday Trump officially announced he was declaring at ‘state of emergency’ at the U.S. southern region that borders Mexico in order to gain some US$8 billion in funds already allocated to the Defense Department for a border fortress the president has been demanding be built since the 2016 electoral trail.
The president and his supporters say the wall will protect U.S. interests from ‘illegal aliens’ and drug traffickers. His detractors say the wall merely symbolizes the president’s and other right-wing nationalist racist tendencies against people of color and Latinxs.
The declaration triggered a slew of lawsuits from several legal organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In December Trump shut down certain parts of the government for several weeks after Congress refused to allot the White House’s initial US$5.7 billion amount for the wall. At that time he threatened to declare a national emergency in order to get money.
In a statement, Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said the emergency declaration by the president is “yet another illegal and dangerous power grab in service of his anti-immigrant agenda.” Wang points out: “This is not an emergency. It’s an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’s spending power by the president.”
Democrats are gearing up to present a joint resolution to repeal the national emergency in coming weeks and they expect some Republicans to come to their side of the aisle. The White House says it will veto any Congressional measure meant to stop the 'emergency', says the Associated Press.