Today President Trump announced that he is declaring a national emergency in order to secure up to eight billion dollars to build his border wall. The border wall had been resoundingly declared dead on arrival during budget negotiations, and his announcement comes in the wake of a budget deal with a border compromise designed to prevent another government shutdown. Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center (TLC), the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures, issued the following statement:
The facts don’t matter to Trump, but they do to the public who will be exercising their civic responsibilities, yet again, to push back against his agenda. And the facts are clear: border crossings are at an all time low and seeking asylum is a right under U.S. and international law.
This fabricated national emergency underscores the extent to which Trump’s baseless hatred dictates policy. Congress has the responsibility to decide how to allocate funds, and sidestepping this process is blatantly undemocratic.
The primary violence happening at the border is being perpetrated by the U.S. government. The political theatre that Trump stages denies the reality that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have blood on their hands. Roxsana Hernandez, Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, and Felipe Gómez Alonzo all died while in U.S. custody. Black LGBTQ migrants seeking safety are instead locked up for years on end. Funding these agencies without any indication of oversight or accountability is criminal.
This week it was reported that because of the Remain in Mexico policy, an LGBTQ asylum-seeker was returned to Mexico. At this point, the logistical hurdles that Trump has put in place have made seeking asylum virtually impossible, and vulnerable people will be disproportionately subject to violence as a result. This wall is wasteful, redundant monument to Trump’s cruelty.