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Shutdown Avoided, But Emergency Declaration is the Wrong Approach

(Arlington, VA) – Today the president will reportedly sign legislation to fund government agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year, while also declaring a national emergency to expedite construction of barriers at the border.


Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

“We will not begin to solve the nation’s immigration challenges until Congress and the president can come together on reforms that provide a permanent solution for Dreamers, improve our legal immigration system, and enhance border security. While forging bipartisan consensus on these issues can be challenging, they cannot ultimately be solved without debate and action in Congress.


The appropriations bill approved today solves only one thing: averting another government shutdown. It’s unfortunate that in doing so, lawmakers and the president have missed an opportunity to include the certainty Dreamers need to plan their lives and contribute to this country.


A national emergency declaration not only compounds this mistake, but it further disrupts the ability for our executive and legislative branches to play their proper roles. That is certainly true of an emergency declaration which purports to address just one facet of these complex challenges, while limiting opportunity to work toward broader bipartisan solutions. As history has shown, unilateral immigration actions by the president are subject to legal challenge, Congressional action, and reversal by a subsequent president. That’s certainly true of extraordinary measures to construct new border barriers. The president should reconsider this approach.”




Earlier this week, The LIBRE Initiative partnered with other organizations on a Capitol Hill Dreamer fly-in and press conference.


Last year The LIBRE Initiative and Freedom Partners launched an ongoing campaign in support of legislative certainty for the Dreamers. The campaign has included earned and paid media, grassroots outreach, Capitol Hill advocacy, and other efforts.


For interviews with a representative from the LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4433