WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two of Arizona’s “Angel Parents,” Mary Ann Mendoza and Steve Ronnebeck, along with Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, joined President Donald Trump on Friday as he vetoed a bill that would end the national emergency he declared at the southern U.S. border.
“Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it,” Trump said before he vetoed the resolution he described as “reckless.”
Trump announced immediately after the resolution passed that he was looking forward to his first veto in a tweet. Trump’s opponents do not have enough support to override his veto.
President Trump invited Mendoza and Lamb to comment on why they supported his emergency declaration in front of reporters in the Oval Office of the White House.
“Angel families come forward to tell their stories not because we’ve created a manufactured crisis, but because we want to tell the American people and share with you our heartache and let you know what is happening on our doorsteps,” said Mendoza, whose son Brandon, a Mesa, Ariz. police officer, was killed by an illegal alien.
She said this is what is also happening to other Americans.
“There is a way to prevent this and it’s not by continually lying to you and telling you that there isn’t a problem,” Mendoza said.
Turning to Trump, Mendoza concluded, “There is a problem. It’s a national emergency and thank you for following through on your promises.”
“Mr. President, I just want to thank you for all the support. This isn’t something we’ve gotten used to,” said Lamb. “What we say in Arizona is that this isn’t about immigration anymore. This is about drug trafficking and human trafficking in this country. If you care about human rights, you should absolutely care about border security. Human beings’ rights are being violated on that border every day. I know I speak on behalf of the Arizona Border Sheriffs when I challenge our congressmen and women and senators to come down and see first hand what we’re dealing with. Se it for yourselves before you cast your vote. You’ll see that we are dealing with a crisis and we are fighting everyday alongside our federal partners to take care of this. Thank you, Mr. President.”
I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
Trump’s Veto Message to the House of Representatives for H.J. Res. 46 –
To the House of Representatives:
I am returning herewith without my approval H.J. Res. 46, a joint resolution that would terminate the national emergency I declared regarding the crisis on our southern border in Proclamation 9844 on February 15, 2019, pursuant to the National Emergencies Act.
As demonstrated by recent statistics published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and explained in testimony given by the Secretary of Homeland Security on March 6, 2019, before the House Committee on Homeland Security, our porous southern border continues to be a magnet for lawless migration and criminals and has created a border security and humanitarian crisis that endangers every American. Last month alone, CBP apprehended more than 76,000 aliens improperly attempting to enter the United States along the southern border — the largest monthly total in the last 5 years. In fiscal year 2018, CBP seized more than 820,000 pounds of drugs at our southern border, including 24,000 pounds of cocaine, 64,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 5,000 pounds of heroin, and 1,800 pounds of fentanyl. In fiscal years 2017 and 2018, immigration officers nationwide made 266,000 arrests of aliens previously charged with or convicted of crimes. These crimes included approximately 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings. In other words, aliens coming across our border have injured or killed thousands of people, while drugs flowing through the border have killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.
The current situation requires our frontline border enforcement personnel to vastly increase their humanitarian efforts. Along their dangerous trek to the United States, 1 in 3 migrant women experiences sexual abuse, and 7 in 10 migrants are victims of violence. Fifty migrants per day are referred for emergency medical care, and CBP rescues 4,300 people per year who are in danger and distress. The efforts to address this humanitarian catastrophe draw resources away from enforcing our Nation’s immigration laws and protecting the border, and place border security personnel at increased risk.
As troubling as these statistics are, they reveal only part of the reality. The situation at the southern border is rapidly deteriorating because of who is arriving and how they are arriving. For many years, the majority of individuals who arrived illegally were single adults from Mexico. Under our existing laws, we could detain and quickly remove most of these aliens. More recently, however, illegal migrants have organized into caravans that include large numbers of families and unaccompanied children from Central American countries. Last year, for example, a record number of families crossed the border illegally. If the current trend holds, the number of families crossing in fiscal year 2019 will greatly surpass last year’s record total. Criminal organizations are taking advantage of these large flows of families and unaccompanied minors to conduct dangerous illegal activity, including human trafficking, drug smuggling, and brutal killings.
Under current laws, court decisions, and resource constraints, the Government cannot detain families or undocumented alien children from Central American countries in significant numbers or quickly deport them. Instead, the Government is forced to release many of them into the interior of the United States, pending lengthy judicial proceedings. Although many fail ever to establish any legal right to remain in this country, they stay nonetheless.
This situation on our border cannot be described as anything other than a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are needed to help confront it.
My highest obligation as President is to protect the Nation and its people. Every day, the crisis on our border is deepening, and with new surges of migrants expected in the coming months, we are straining our border enforcement personnel and resources to the breaking point.
H.J. Res. 46 ignores these realities. It is a dangerous resolution that would undermine United States sovereignty and threaten the lives and safety of countless Americans. It is, therefore, my duty to return it to the House of Representatives without my approval.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 15, 2019.