LOS ANGELES – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued the following statement in response to today’s declaration of a state of emergency by Donald J. Trump:

“The national emergency is real.  It is not, however, an emergency at the nation’s southern border or an emergency of border security.  The emergency comes in the form of a dire constitutional crisis.

“Today’s lawless announcement by Donald Trump should provoke immediate and universal outrage.  There is zero factual support for the existence of a national emergency at the border.  Indeed, today’s announcement would be a laughable object of ridicule were it not so dangerous.

“Neither outrage nor ridicule can suffice in the face of an unconstitutional usurpation of monstrous and perilous power.  Donald Trump’s pretensions of dictatorial authority have now been laid fully bare.  We must unite in full-scale opposition to today’s unlawful action.  MALDEF commits to do its part in that full-scale opposition.”