President Donald Trump tried to convince observers that his declaration of a national emergency over the situation at the southern border was no big deal during his Friday announcement, but many beg to differ. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was among those to call out the president for his rhetoric this week, singling out a particular line he uttered during his press conference covering the declaration that many have suggested could be used in legal arguments against the move.
“I didn’t need to do this” is admitting this isn’t an emergency at all. “I didn’t need to do this” means he’s faking a crisis.’
Journalist Tal Kopan had shared:
‘“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump says of an emergency declaration that his attorneys will have to defend in court was justified by an emergency… “I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.”‘
Trump’s move has already attracted wide-ranging legal threats. California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who’s already taken on the Trump administration successfully in court numerous times, asserted during his response to Trump’s State of the Union address that he was ready to quickly launch a legal challenge should Trump make good on his threats to declare a national emergency as he’s now done. In the time since, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello has suggested his administration would join the legal challenge too. There have been reports that Trump will be targeting money that had been set aside as disaster relief funds for California and Puerto Rico, seeking to redirect it to border wall construction.
Ocasio-Cortez has herself jumped on board with a formal challenge to the declaration, too. She announced early Friday that she would join Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tx.) in introducing a resolution to nullify the president’s declaration, which is allowed for under the terms of the original legislation that provides for the national emergency declarations in the first place.
‘[Joaquin Castro] and I aren’t going to let the President declare a fake national emergency without a fight.’
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2019
The resolution has to pass both chambers of Congress to be effective, which could be tricky considering the Republican majority in the Senate, although numerous high-profile Republicans including Sens. Lisa Murkoswki (Ak.) and Marco Rubio (Fl.) have already expressed opposition to the emergency declaration.
Trump claims that the declaration is needed because of threats of “invasion” over the southern border by asylum seekers. In reality, these people do not pose a special criminal threat to the United States, but data isn’t stopping Trump. Confronted during his Friday press conference with the documented facts of the situation, Trump suggested that the actual crime rate among undocumented immigrants is much higher than data from the federal government itself asserts. He thereby jumped full-force into yet another round of baseless fearmongering.
He claimed Friday to be pushing for the wall because it’s necessary and not just because it was a campaign promise, but there’s no way to truly disconnect Trump’s incessant campaigning on the promise to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it from his current positions.
Check out Twitter’s response to Ocasio-Cortez…
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