President Donald Trump signed the first veto of his presidency on Friday, March 15, to protect the emergency declaration for border wall funding. Here are some remarks at the signing.

Sheriff Hodgson said: “Mr. President, I’ve been a sheriff for 21 years, and I’ve been dealing with Congress for 21 years on this issue of immigration.  A lot of people have listened over 21 years, but Mr. President, you are the first person who has taken action.  And you have given us back our footing in law enforcement, but you’ve also given the American people back what they deserve, which is to be protected.”

Thomas M. Hodgson has served as Sheriff of Bristol County Massachusetts since 1997. He added: “In my county alone, one city, we have on average, on second shift at our hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, 15 to 20 overdoses on second shift every day.  And this is going on — that’s one example.  This is happening all over the country. But, Mr. President, you have stood up and you’ve taken the action.  And the American people are behind you and we’re behind you.  And thank you and God bless you for what you’re doing.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR said:

“Mr. President, your declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent. As you said, the National Emergencies Act directly authorizes the President, and gives broad discretionary authority to the President, to identify and respond to emergent circumstances that require a decisive response.”

He added: “And the humanitarian and security crisis we have on the border right now is exactly the kind of emergency that Presidents are permitted to address under the National Emergencies Act.”

SECRETARY NIELSEN said: “The fact that this is an emergency is undeniable.  We have not seen this type of flow.  As you know, it’s predominantly families and children, which means that there’s a very unique and dangerous humanitarian crisis at hand, in addition to the security that you just described in your remarks.”

She continued: “So we have a duty to know who comes in our country, and we have a duty to ensure that the flow is safe and orderly.  That’s what you’ve attempted to do and that’s what you’ve demanded that Congress do.  And I just again ask Congress to please pay attention.  We’ve given you the facts.  The system is breaking.  Security is at risk.  And the very humanitarian protections that we hold dear in this country are at risk in terms of our ability to provide those to vulnerable populations.”

SHERIFF LOUDERBACK said: “The sheriffs and men and women of law enforcement in this room and across this nation owe you a debt of gratitude for something that we’ve been waiting for, for decades.  Our hats are off to you again.”

President Trump signs his first veto
President Donald Trump signs the first veto of his presidency in the Oval Office of the White House, on March 15, 2019. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo

SHERIFF LEWIS:  “While we Americans only make up about 7 percent of the world’s total population, about 68 percent of the world’s total drugs are consumed here in the United States every year.  This is not political propaganda.  We have a dire crisis on our southwest border, and America’s sheriffs stand behind the President of the United States, 100 percent.  He has had our back.  He’s had the Americans’ back.”

MS. MENDOZA:  “My son was killed in 2014 by a repeat illegal alien criminal allowed to stay in this country.  He was police officer in Mesa, Arizona.”

She continued: “And 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, what’s happening to your neighbors, what’s happening to your fellow Americans.  And there is a way to prevent this, and it’s not by continuingly lying to you and telling you that there isn’t a problem.  There is a problem.  It’s a national emergency.”