Councilmember M. Lorena González, chair of the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans & Education Committee, issued the following statement in response to President Trump declaring a national emergency, allowing him to access additional funding not approved by Congress to build a border wall.
“You do not need to be a lawyer to know that President Donald J. Trump’s intent to unilaterally declare a national emergency on our Country’s southern border is both unconstitutional and a deliberate undermining of our democracy. But I am a lawyer. I have more than a decade of experience as a constitutional and civil rights attorney holding powerful people and institutions accountable, including the government, when they abused their power at the expense of the most vulnerable. As Americans, we cannot allow any President of the United States of America to set this dangerous precedent of circumventing Congressional authority.
“The President’s misguided insistence of spending $8 billion to build a wall that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want is a travesty and poor public policy. While in most nations physical walls between nations have been ceremoniously torn down, this President is building a wall that will do nothing more than cement division and memorialize the ongoing trauma of family separation caused by the cruel, inhumane and archaic immigration laws and policies of this Country.
“The President’s tortured interpretation of his executive power that would allow him to marshal $8 billion to fund a wall takes money from local communities, like the City of Seattle. Our City needs this Administration to stop funding his xenophobic, campaign promises. We need real federal dollars to be invested in our local cities. We need infrastructure. We need investments in transportation, affordable housing, mental and behavioral health services, green jobs, clean water and clean air.
“We must never normalize the President’s approach to govern by gaslighting our country through chaos supported only by rhetoric that feed his base of white nationalists.
“As a citywide councilmember, I am proud and honored to represent nearly one million people in Seattle and our shared progressive ideals. This region is home to half a million immigrants and refugees and their children. I am one of those children. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants and as a first-generation American, I continue to stand and fight in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in the immigrant justice movement. We will never stop fighting for what is right.
“I urge all Seattleites to raise their voices in strong and fervent opposition to this President’s recent announcement. The President and Congress must hear our message: Not here, not now. Not ever. No wall.”