ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG STATEMENT ON TRUMP THREAT TO CLOSE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong issued the following statement regarding the latest threat by President Donald Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Closing the border in a dramatic media stunt would be a severe self-inflicted wound to the national economy and would likely violate U.S. treaty obligations and federal law that govern the rights of asylum seekers at ports of entry. I have been to the border and witnessed the true crisis, and it is a humanitarian crisis of the President's own making. There is no national emergency—in fact, unauthorized border crossings are at an historic low. Trump's latest threat is more partisan pandering to a xenophobic base designed to keep his promised wall in the news cycle," said Attorney General Tong.
Connecticut is part of a 20-state coalition led by California challenging President Trump’s unfounded declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. The coalition alleges that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The group seeks to block the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds.
On Wednesday, March 20, Attorney General Tong traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to visit a detention center near the San Ysidro Port of Entry and witness the Trump Administration's "Turnback Policy" in action. Attorney General Tong, along with seven other attorneys general, received a briefing from Al Otro Lado, a nonprofit legal service provider. The briefing covered Al Otro Lado's work serving indigent deportees and refugees in Mexico and ensuring that the rights of those seeking asylum are protected. In February, 20 states, including Connecticut filed in support of a lawsuit brought by Al Otro Lado challenging the Trump administration’s policy which denies individuals access to the asylum process at ports of entry.