AUSTIN,Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The gathering at Republic Square, Monday, was not large but it was loud.
The rally in Austin was part of a nationwide protest organized by moveon.org.
"There is a crisis at the border, a man made crisis, that our government's unconstitutional erosion of the law, and lack of humanitarian response have created,” said immigration activist Ana Maria Rea.
Those attending held posters objecting to President Trump's border declaration. Some called him the emergency. Others urged for his removal from office.
"We will resist these policies that harm our families, we won’t stand for these policies any longer, we will speak truth to this power and we will do so every day, no tomorrow, next month all the way to November 2020 when we vote President Trump out of office,” said immigrant healthcare advocate Dr. Pritesh Gandhi.
Several speakers warned the president could declare martial law. Some suggested more forceful protests were needed.
"Nice little rallies are good, we may have to get louder, we may have to get longer, we may need general strikes. If we don’t show up for work for a few days we may make some change," said Austin Rally organizer Karan Shirk.
A National Emergency Declaration typically is not done in response to a National Disaster.
In the past 40 years presidents for the most part have used the Emergencies Act as part of a Foreign Policy initiative. The majority of emergency declarations blocked the transfer of property by foreign parties as well restricted financial deals and trade.
Others have focused on weapons, Cuba, Korea, elections and the import of diamonds from Sierra Leone. Those that fit the definition of a disaster came after the 9/11 attacks and in response to the flu pandemic in 2009.
Trump's order, however, is the first to go around a congressional budget impasse.
Constitutional conservative Torin Archbold argued that the protesters have forgotten that a financial bypass of congress has happened before.
"Barack Obama sent $1.8 Billion to Iran and none of that was allocated by Congress. Not a penny, he did it, he didn't ask, he didn't go to the court like Donald Trump, is doing, he sent $1.8 Billion in cash on planes to Iran, and now that same people that let that slide are calling the sky is falling because Donald Trump wants to build a wall to protect our southern border,” said Archbold.
The idea of knocking down the sections of wall that are already in place was described by Archbold, as absurd.
“There is no America to these people. It doesn't exist,” said Archbold.
Those at the protest did voice concern about moving money around to help build the wall.
A petition was circulated against the idea dipping into the state rainy day fund to bankroll construction along the Texas border.