by Jeffrey A. Rendall
Why are we still talking about this?
You’re forgiven if you’re wondering the same thing, referring to the controversy over illegal immigration, border security and President Donald Trump’s recent national emergency declaration, which addressed the perpetual problem of aliens streaming over the line between America and Mexico without authorization or official permission from the powers that be here. Statistics show a high percentage of border jumpers are apprehended by the United States Border Patrol, but what happens to the human hindrances after capture is where the political class diverges.
According to Wikipedia, the United States Border Patrol, “is an American federal law enforcement agency whose mission is to detect and prevent illegal aliens, terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband.”
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Theoretically, we detect ‘em, we catch ‘em, we detain ‘em and we ship ‘em back to whenceforth they came. For decades Washington politicians from both parties acknowledged something must be done to combat illegal immigration yet not much in the form of legislation or resolutions solved the dilemma. But if the hot air emanating from lawmakers’ mouths was quantifiable it’d melt what remains of the polar ice cap. Talk about climate change!
President Trump declared a national emergency a couple weeks ago to pool undesignated military funds to construct a barrier and help solve the problem at long last. Democrats vowed to fight him every step of the way and they’re plotting revenge this week. Mike Lillis reported at The Hill, “House Democrats are wasting no time in their effort to block President Trump’s emergency declaration at the southern border, scheduling a floor vote Tuesday on the disapproval resolution introduced Friday by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the plan Friday on a conference call with reporters, where she framed Trump’s unilateral move as an ‘institutional assault’ that defies the constitutionally dictated separation of powers and threatens the working of the country’s democracy.
“The president’s act is lawless and does violence to our constitution and therefore to our democracy,’ she said. ‘We do not have a monarchy; we have a separation of powers in our country.’”
Thanks for the civics lesson, Nance! It’s ironic Pelosi called Trump’s act “lawless” and “violent” because enforcing the law and preventing violence is precisely what Trump hopes to accomplish by building the border wall. While the San Francisco bay area Democrat is correct about the “monarchy” and “separation of powers” part, she’s quite a bit off in her understanding of the terms.
Legally speaking, the president is charged with executing the country’s laws and keeping our people safe. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution reads, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices…”
And, “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States…”
Seems pretty plain, Madame Speaker. Trump acted on the advice of his cabinet officers in determining an emergency exists on the southern border. While there’s no actual invading army staring over the line with guns drawn and artillery at the ready, an indisputable “invasion force” of aliens crossing daily intent on defying the laws of the United States awaits nonetheless. The president would neglect his constitutional duties if he ignored the realities, just as Trump’s predecessors did for years and years, for a variety of reasons.
Congressional Democrats (and a number of establishment Republicans in addition) are the ones shirking their constitutional obligations here. For example, Democrats still maintain there’s a “crisis” of families separated under the Trump administration’s policies (which are similar to Obama’s, but that’s beyond the point) yet continue denying there’s any “emergency” down south. They can’t have it both ways, crying over the humanitarian plight of the illegals (oh, the children!) while pretending there isn’t a dire need to face the reasons why these people risk their lives to come here in the first place.
As far as Trump usurping the authority of Congress goes, it should be noted he hasn’t vetoed a single billduring his first two years in office… so how can Pelosi maintain he’s a frequent violator of the will of the legislative branch? If anything, Trump’s been far too deferential to the uneven collection of personalities driving the Congress — first the leaders of his own political faction who refused to herd their cats into a coherent and effective lawmaking force, and now, to the opposition which seeks to remove him from office by any means necessary.
Numerous legal scholars indicated Trump possesses the authority to declare an emergency and if the courts were truly unprejudiced they would uphold his action as a legitimate use of presidential power. But these are strange times where rogue liberal federal district court judges (mostly Obama appointees) feel sanctioned to counteract the will of the duly elected president.
And Democrats back these judges up whenever they go off the rails.
Where Republicans are concerned, it looks as though a handful may support the Democrats’ stupid resolution. If it passes both houses (questionable in the Senate), Trump vowed to veto it, which means the executive declared national emergency will remain in place and the courts will handle the multitude of liberal challenges.
“President Trump said Friday that he will veto a resolution brought by House Democrats in an attempt to counter his national emergency declaration over illegal border crossings.
“The president told reporters Friday afternoon that he will ‘100 percent’ veto the resolution if it manages to pass both the Democratic-held House and GOP-led Senate, though he expressed confidence that Republican senators would continue to support him in his declaration.
“’Will I veto it? 100 percent. 100 percent. And I don’t think it survives a veto. We have too many smart people that want border security, so I can’t imagine if it survives a veto, but I will veto it. Yes,’ Trump told reporters.”
No ambiguity there. It’s almost like Trump’s daring Democrats and the few wayward RINOs to send him something he can bat right back at them like a ping pong ball after a serve. Trump’s bent over backwards attempting to accommodate the process and everyone’s wishes on most topics during his tenure. Perhaps it’s time he issued a veto and forced Congress to muster the two-thirds support to override it.
It ain’t gonna happen. Even those few Republicans who’re wishy-washy about Trump’s constitutional mandate to act unilaterally on the border wall should recognize action needed to be taken to counteract the illegal immigration conundrum. Trump is the one receiving flak now because he dared taking an affirmative step towards sealing the border. Would Jeb Bush have done something as bold? Or Mitt Romney?
So much of what occurs on Capitol Hill these days is purely symbolic, none more so than this week’s Democrat resolution to terminate Trump’s national emergency declaration. Americans should give thanks the process worked in this instance — and the problem might actually be resolved.