UPDATE GreenLatinos Joins Earthjustice Suit against Discriminatory Declaration March 14, 2019
This president’s totalitarian terrorist tactic, declaring an emergency to build the wall, is a face saving win-win for him, this administration, and their enablers to claim he met his campaign promise in the 2020 elections. If courts strike down the declaration, the courts and his opponents tied his hands, so vote for him. If courts acquiesce, they claim he met his promise, so vote for him. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,“ he said, while simultaneously declaring the – fake – emergency.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives
Chairman Raul Grijavla and Honorable Members, House Natural Resources Committee
Representative Jimmy Gomez
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Kamala Harris
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Grijalva, Honorable Representatives and Senators:
Declaring a national emergency to fund and build a border wall would discriminate against people of color, low income people and indigenous people in communities along the border. They are not necessary and narrowly crafted to serve any compelling state interest. There are less discriminatory means to serve any legitimate state interest. The declaration and wall are not necessary and effective to stem immigration, child smuggling, drug trafficking, or violent crime, or to protect jobs and the economy. Electronic barriers along the border and other border security and immigration provisions are more effective, less discriminatory means to serve such goals.
Leading constitutional scholars have Prof. Bruce Ackerman at Yale Law School and Prof. Lawrence Lessig at Harvard Law School have articulated why this president does not have any Constitutional authority to declare a national emergency to build the wall, and to use the military to patrol the border.
A bogus national emergency declaration and wall would discriminate against Tohono O’odham people, who stand to lose sacred sites, cultural resources, and sovereign lands on this side of the border. No one else will. This violates their rights under the Equal Protection Clause against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or ancestry. This violates their Native American religion rights under the First Amendment. This violates their Native American rights as a sovereign nation entitled to respectful government to government consultation.
A bogus national emergency declaration and wall would discriminate against people of color who disproportionately live in communities on the US side of the border under the Equal Protection Clause, based on race, color, national origin, or ancestry. This president’s words and action provide ample evidence of discrimination, including denouncing Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers, and dismissing home nations of immigrants as shit house nations.
Rep. Will Hurd who opposes the wall, is a Republican and former CIA agent who represents borderland communities in Texas. An electronic barrier, not concrete, steel slats, or other physical barriers, and other measures provide better security, according to Rep. Hurd.
There is no immigration crisis at the border with Mexico and the US. There was no emergency while Republicans controlled White House, House, and Senate for the past two years. Undocumented immigration is at historic lows. Most undocumented immigrants are people who arrive in the US with papers and overstay their visas. Most migration at the border is by families migration, not by unaccompanied minors.
There is no drug crisis at the border. Most illicit narcotics enter the US through other ports of entry and over water.
There is no crisis of violent immigrant crime. The crime rate is lower among undocumented people than among the general population.
The wall does not benefit African Americans, Latinos, and other low income people by saving their jobs from low paid immigrants. Unemployment rates have continued to be generally lower over the past two administrations.
I am an immigrant. I came from Guatemala to the US with three generations of my family. My father was deported twice before that. My uncle joined the US Air Force as an undocumented immigrant, obtained his US citizenship through his service, and retired after 20 years of service
This president’s bogus claims invoking a national emergency to build the wall are totalitarian methods that terrorize immigrants who help build this nation in order to save face for the 2020 elections. Oppose any national emergency declaration and wall.
Very truly yours,
The City Project
Prof. Lawrence Lessig, Trump’s border wall demand is constitutionally illegitimate, The Guardian (Jan. 4, 2019),
Trump v Hawaii, 585 U.S. — (2018), slip opinion at 38 (reversing Korematsu v United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) as “gravely wrong the day it was decided” and “overruled in the court of history”; such discrimination is objectively unlawful, outside the scope of presidential authority, and has no place under the Constitution) (Roberts, C.J.).
Marta A. Segura and Robert García, Protect People, Wildlife, Places, and Values, NRPA Parks & Recreation Magazine (Dec. 2017). Available in English and en Español.
N.Y. Times, Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background (Jan. 9, 2019).
Emily Cochrane, Only One House Republican Represents the Borderland, and He Opposes a Wall, N.Y. Times, Jan. 17, 2019.
Written testimony on impact of wall and shutdown joined by The City Project, Center for Biological Diversity, California LULAC & The Praxis Project.
Robert García, Xavier Morales & Mark Magaña, A Framework for Civil Rights, Environmental Justice, and Health Equity, chapter in Poverty, Race, and Research Action Council handbook called Strategies for Health Justice: Lessons from the Field (2018), at pages 45-57.
Indigenous Environmental Network et al. v US Dept of State et al (US D Ct Montana 2017) (blocking Keystone XL Pipeline based in part on impact against Native Americans).
David Treur, The Heartbreak of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present (2019).
The Real Problem With Trump’s National Emergency Plan. The fact that the president may have the authority to throw away billions on a foolish campaign promise is itself scandalous. By Peter H. Schuck NYT, an emeritus professor of law at Yale and scholar-in-residence at N.Y.U.
Trump Declared a Border Emergency. Here’s How It Could Be Undone in Court. By Simon Romero NYT.
16 States Sue to Stop Trump’s Use of Emergency Powers to Build Border Wall. By Charlie Savage and Robert Pear NYT.