WASHINGTON, D.C. — Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James made the following statement in response to President Trump’s declaring a national emergency on the border.
“Conservatives are disappointed in Congress and frustrated that its failure has led to today’s action by the President. The omnibus legislation coupled with today’s announcement is an unacceptable resolution to a genuine national crisis.
“For far too long, the United States’ southern border has not been adequately secured, creating devastating and dangerous consequences. Congress has responded with apathy, negligence, and incompetence.
“Over the past few months, this crisis has reached a crescendo. We’ve watched as caravans of thousands of migrants descended on the border intent on either entering the country illegally or exploiting legal loopholes like our broken asylum system. We’ve watched as vicious and violent cartels have taken advantage of our lax borders and trafficked drugs, guns, and people into our land. We’ve watched as thousands of troops were deployed to the border over and over again.
“For two years, Congress denied President Trump the necessary resources to secure the border for political reasons. That standoff sadly ended in the nation’s longest-ever government shutdown. Given one last chance to get it right, Congress again failed to live up to its sacred duty to protect the American people. The omnibus legislation is one of the worst examples of the ineptitude of Congress. The disgraceful process that led to this terrible bill ought to be abandoned forever.
“Frustrated with Washington, President Trump believes he has no choice but to take this action today. While it is strictly constitutional, it carries significant downside. This creates a dangerous precedent for future administrations and exposes the critical need for border security to the whims of activist federal judges.”