Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke on Feb. 19 described President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border with Mexico as a “power grab.”
In an attempt to bypass the Congress, Trump declared the emergency on Feb. 15 in order to access billions of dollars that the US Legislature declined to give him to honor his campaign pledge of building a wall at the southern border to keep out illegal immigrants.
“Donald Trump, who often criticized President Barak Obama for his use of Executive Orders, takes executive overreach to a new level by declaring a national emergency,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told Caribbean Life. “This is a power grab by a president who has gone outside the bounds of not only the law but of reality.”
The representative for the predominantly Caribbean Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn, noted that 61 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency.
She also said that illegal border crossings are at a near 20-year low.
“There is no real crisis at the border,” Clarke declared. “This is just another attempt to distract from the fact that neither Mexico, Democrats, or the American people want to pay for Donald Trump’s ridiculously expensive and racist border wall.
“The president should admit that he was unable to get Mexico to pay for the wall, as he promised, and work with Congress on comprehensive immigration and comprehensive infrastructure packages,” she added.
Another Caribbean-American legislator was also very critical of Trump’s declaration.
“At this point, I don’t know which is worse: The fact that a proven liar is leading the country and literally manufacturing a constitutional crisis that doesn’t exist based purely on racism, hatred and bigotry; the elected leaders who continue to support this administration’s divisive policies and actions, because of its bigotry; or the millions of people in this country excited to be a MAGA (‘Make America Great Again’) follower in plain sight, eager to vote for those who spew such hate,” said New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants.
“I’m glad to be a part of the America that is the light that is still shining and guiding us through the darkness, which is the true national emergency,” added Williams, a candidate for New York City Public Advocate and representative for the largely Caribbean 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” said Trump in a nationally televised address soon after Congress passed a spending bill that omitted the $5.7 billion that Trump had sought to construct the wall.
“It’s an invasion,” the president added. “We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”
But Democratic, and even some Republican lawmakers, analysts, and political pundits say that Trump has set up a huge confrontation with Congress over the separation of powers, as outlined in the US Constitution.
“This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed president, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process,” said Democratic Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, of California, and Senate Minority Leader Democratic Chuck Schumer, of New York, in a joint statement.