No National Emergency

Letter to the Editor: Athens News Courier, published 02/23/19
Written by Ken Hines
Chair, Limestone County Democrats

Dear Editor,

The president of the United States has declared a national emergency to justify taking money away from where Congress allocated it, and using it instead to build a wall between us and Mexico.

A national emergency implies that there is a threat to our nation of such an immediate nature and magnitude that our normal democratic processes do not have time to address it. In this case, our normal processes have addressed the issue. Congress has failed to fund Trump’s wall for his entire term of office, and the newly elected House of Representatives has clearly and intentionally denied funding.

Trump has not declared an emergency; he has stolen the authority given to Congress by the Constitution of the United States. We cannot allow him to succeed. Doing so will create a totalitarian administrative branch that can ignore or reverse the legislature simply by declaring, unilaterally and without evidence, there is an emergency. That is the government of a third-world dictatorship, not of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.

Even for those who so despise democracy that they might agree to such administrative power, this makes no sense. The only differences between the U.S.-Mexican border now and the border years ago is that fewer people are crossing it illegally today, and more of them are women and children. There is no emergency that did not exist when Trump was elected, and that did not persist through two years of Republican-controlled Congress.

I call upon all Americans, whether Democrat, Republican, independent or other, to make it clear to your senators and representatives that you will not tolerate any hint of legislative collaboration in this power grab.

This is no longer partisan politics. This is a threat to the very existence of the nation.


Ken Hines
Chair, Limestone County Democrats