BOONE COUNTY — A group of activists came together Sunday to protest and speak out against President Donald Trump's decision to declare a state of emergency to get more federal money for his border wall.
The group met at the Boone County Courthouse. Event Organizer Theo Schwinke said America is in a state of emergency, but not one that requires a border wall.
"We have emergencies elsewhere in America," he said. "We have people who are going hungry, we have people who are being imprisoned for no reason."
He said despite the weather, it was necessary to organize the event this weekend.
"After this week when the president decided he was going to declare a state of emergency as an excuse for building support for a border wall and anti-immigrant measures on the Southern border- we decided this could not stand," he said. "We could not continue to pretend this is normal."
President Trump told said he issued the state of emergency because he wants to speed up the process to build the border wall.
"I want to do it faster," he said. "I could do the wall over a longer period of time- I didn't need to do this. But I wanted to do it much faster."
President Trump said the wall will be built and it is necessary for safety in the United States.
"We are going to do it one way or another," he said. "We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country."
Schwinke said he believes there are other areas America needs funding for.
"The five billion dollars the president says he wants for a border wall could be used to expand Medicaid to 1.4 million people," he said.
Several people spoke at the rally as others carried signs stating their opposition to the wall being built. Schwinke said the state of emergency is being used to distract the public from serious issues.
"We talked about how this is mainly a distraction," he said. "We do not have a national emergency on our southern border except possibly the one the White House Administration has created."
President Trump declared the state of emergency Friday.