Dozens Of Ex-Gov’t Bigwigs Pick Apart Nat’l Emergency Reasoning In Court Filing

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Some 62 former government bigwigs including former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and John Kerry argued in court filings this week that President Donald Trump’s ongoing national emergency — the one he declared after Congress refused to give him the money he wanted to build a border wall — will make the humanitarian crisis on the border worse and harm national security.

“There are real humanitarian concerns at the border, but they largely result from the current administration’s own deliberate policies towards migrants,” read an amicus brief from dozens of former government officials.

Identical briefs were filed Monday, in California and several other states’ suit over the emergency declaration, and Tuesday, in the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition’s lawsuit. The cases are set to be heard together on May 17.

Other national security and diplomatic officials who signed on include former CIA Directors John Brennan and Michael Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Advisers Tom Donilon and Susan Rice, former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The “friends of the court” letter — one of several from parties with an interest in the case, including Douglas Letter, general counsel for the House of Representatives — breaks down the Trump administration’s justifications for an emergency declaration point-by-point.

The subsections of the filing read: “Illegal border crossings have been near historic lows”; “There is no emergency related to violent crime at the southern border”; “This proclamation will only exacerbate the humanitarian concerns that do exist at the southern border”; and “Redirecting funds for the claimed ‘national emergency’ will undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” among others.

“Amici do not deny that our nation faces real immigration and national security challenges,” the former officials wrote. “But as the foregoing demonstrates, these challenges demand a thoughtful, evidence-based strategy, not a manufactured crisis that rests on falsehoods and fearmongering.”

Read the amici curiae brief below: 

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