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Joint Statement on the Presidential Declaration of National Emergency


Kelly Swan, Director of Communications
phone: 216-397-6248 | e-mail: [email protected]

The following is a joint statement issued from the Jesuit Conference of Justice and Ecology, Kino Border Initiative, and Ignatian Solidarity Network regarding President Trump’s announcement of a National Emergency at the U.S.-Mexico Border. This statement is available in PDF format in English and Spanish

Joint Statement on the Presidential Declaration of National Emergency

The Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, Kino Border Initiative, and the Ignatian Solidarity Network condemn President Trump’s unwarranted declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border in order to unilaterally secure increased funding for additions to the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This action is both an immoral response to the challenges posed by immigration realities on our southern border and a threat to our democracy.

As Catholics, we believe that people have a right and duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. These are fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching. President Trump’s use of emergency powers to circumvent negotiations with another branch of government compromises the ability of citizens and their representatives in the legislative branch to carry out these rights and responsibilities.

Based on firsthand experience accompanying migrants at the border, we can confidently testify that there is no border security crisis. To the contrary, men, women, and children arriving at our border are seeking security from violence in their communities and hoping to provide a better life for their families. Building a longer border wall will not respond to the complex realities of migration, will not respond to the needs of the most vulnerable, and will not make our country safer. Our society is divided and needs more bridges, not more walls. As Pope Francis reminded us during a visit to Latin America in 2016, “A nation which seeks the common good cannot be closed in on itself; societies are strengthened by networks of relationships.”

In fabricating an emergency in order to bypass normal constitutional processes, President Trump’s declaration erodes the democratic foundations of our country. We call on all members of Congress to use the powers available to them to prevent this declaration from coming into effect. We ask them instead to seek pathways that promote the common good and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable and to do so in ways that adhere to the fundamental civic values of representative government.

February 19, 2019

2 replies
  1. JoNell
    JoNell says:

    Bridges LITERALLY provide CLEARLY DEFINED areas where people can SAFELY PASS from one place to another.
    The ABSOLUTELY MORAL Wall we wish to erect will do EXACTLY THAT.
    The United States has a MORAL and ETHICAL OBLIGATION to PROTECT and MANAGE its borders, as does every other country. A Wall, with specified entry points …the bridges you desire……will help the US continue to be a safe haven for those who need it.

    IF you TRULY CARE about the people attempting to FORCE their way into the United States, you would SUPPORT the building of a physical barrier with SAFE entry points, AND apply social and political pressure on their greedy, selfish, morally bankrupt governments to provide for the needs of THEIR PEOPLE, to whom THEY have a MORAL and CIVIL OBLIGATION.

    The US does NOT have ANY MORAL OBLIGATION to protect or save every person in the world. STOP acting as if it does.

  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Mankind is hungering and thirsting for democracy worldwide. Democracy is yet to arrive in our midst.


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