58 former US security officials have agreed to issue a declaration on the national emergency saying that the move is unnecessary at this time.
The joint statement by the former security officials is to be issued Today and it comes a day before the house votes on a resolution to stop Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration from taking effect. Foremost among the signatories of the statement are Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state and Chuck Hagel, former defense secretary.
In the statement, the ex-security officials said that “there is no factual basis” for the President to declare a national emergency to erect the US-Mexico border wall. Not only does the joint statement intend to support lawsuits and other actions aimed at stopping Trump from declaring a national emergency, but it also wants the administration to provide a legal and factual basis for its proposed action.
In the 11-page declaration, the group revealed that no national emergency gives a President the right to use funds appropriated for other purposes to erect a border wall. They added that illegal border crossings are at 40-year lows. Using the statistics provided by Department of Homeland Security, the former officials said that between 2006 and 2016, illegal entries at the US-Mexico border had decreased from 851,000 to about 62,000.
In the statement, the ex-security officials countered Trump’s assertion that illegal entries had contributed to the increase of violence and drug-related crimes in the US. Citing administration reports and the analysis of security experts, the group said that there is currently no documented emergency that indicates that terrorism or violent related crime is on the rise at the southern border. They also stated that Trump’s southern border wall will not be able to address the drug trafficking emergency as the majority of the opioids that enter the country come in through legal ports of entry.
In the District of Columbia, California, and Texas, about five plaintiffs have filed cases with respect to the declared national emergency.