Former FEMA boss says border situation is not an emergency


WASHINGTON (AP) — The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that what’s happening on the U.S. southern border is no emergency.

Craig Fugate, who ran the national disaster agency for nearly eight years under President Barack Obama and was head of Florida’s disaster agency under a Republican governor, said the push of refugees seeking asylum on the border with Mexico is not a national emergency.

President Donald Trump has called it a crisis and is weighing a national emergency declaration to bypass a reluctant Congress and fund his long-promised border wall. It is the issue that has led to the extended partial government shutdown.

The Obama administration appointed Fugate, who ran recovery operations to numerous hurricanes and other disasters, to manage the issue of separated migrant children.

“And that was a crisis,” Fugate said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. It was an issue of mass care, he said.

Arrest Made in Stabbing of Girls at US Movie Theater, Suspect Reportedly a Trans Activist Who Was 'Laughing the Whole Time'

More terrorists come into the United States through the northern border than the southern, said Fugate, who was part of the Department of Homeland Security.

“I’ve yet to see anything physically stop illegal immigration,” Fugate said. He said it would be cheaper and more effective to spend money to reduce crime and poverty in areas the refugees are fleeing from to stop illegal immigration that way.

“This is posturing, blustering,” Fugate said. He said Trump is essentially saying, “If I can’t get Congress to fund it, I’m going to use my authority to bypass Congress.”

Fugate said he worries that it continues a trend of presidents being more powerful than the legislative and judicial branches, something he traces back to Abraham Lincoln and, more recently, Franklin Roosevelt. The Supreme Court stopped President Harry Truman from using national emergency powers to nationalize the steel industry, but Fugate said he worries that won’t happen if Trump declares a national emergency to bypass Congress.

“What happens if they suspend the vote? What happens if they suspend the Congress?” Fugate asked. “That’s what happens in countries where the executive branch is greater than the legislative and judiciary.”


This story has been corrected to show that Fugate was appointed by the Obama administration, not the Trump administration, to manage the issue of separated migrant children.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City