58 ex-national security officials say there's no 'plausible' factual basis for Trump's border emergency declaration

A secondary border wall being constructed in California
(Image credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of former national security officials is releasing an 11-page statement Monday arguing "there is no factual basis" for President Trump's declared national emergency to build his border wall. "Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border," write the 58 officials, including former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and John Kerry, former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta, and several other officials from previous Republican and Democratic administrations.

The statement cites federal statistics and reports to show that contrary to Trump's claims, border crossings are near 40-year lows, there are no documented terrorism or crime emergencies near the U.S. border, a wall wouldn't significantly reduce drug trafficking, and "a wall is unnecessary to support the use of the armed forces." Released one day before the House will vote to terminate Trump's emergency order, the document is partly intended to bolster legal challenges to the declaration. Federal courts cited a statement signed by several of the same former officials when blocking Trump's original Muslim travel ban in early 2017; a significantly revised and narrowed ban was later upheld by a 5-4 Supreme Court.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us