Yes, Trump Has The Authority To Declare A National Emergency On The Southern Border

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the threat of President Donald Trump that, should the Democrats refuse to fund the wall, he is preparing to declare a national emergency to build it unilaterally. As I discuss below, I believe that such a declaration should be opposed by Congress in defense of its inherent constitutional function over the federal purse. I do not see the compelling basis to declare an emergency given the available data on illegal crossings on the Southern border. However, I disagree with those who have argued that such a declaration would be unconstitutional.

Here is the column:

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story once marveled, “How easily men satisfy themselves that the Constitution is exactly what they wish it to be.” If Story returned to life today, he would find these to be familiar times, as politicians and pundits have decided that the Constitution bars an action by President Trump, even when they reached the diametrically opposite conclusion on similar actions taken by President Obama during his term.

In the latest “constitutional crisis” declared on Capitol Hill, Democrats are adamant that they will not fund the signature pledge of Trump to build a border wall. In response, Trump has threatened to start construction unilaterally under his emergency powers if Congress refuses to yield to his demand for more than $5 billion. Critics turned to the Constitution and found clear authority against Trump. Representative Adam Schiff, Berkeley law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman, and many others denounced such a move as flagrantly unconstitutional.

The concern is well founded even if the conclusion is not. Congress has refused the funds needed for the wall, so Trump is openly claiming the right to unilaterally order construction by declaring a national emergency. On its face, that order would undermine the core role of Congress in our system of checks and balances. I happen to agree that an emergency declaration to build the wall is unwise and unnecessary. However, the declaration is not unconstitutional. Schiff, now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, insists that Trump “does not have the power to execute” this order because “if Harry Truman could not nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this president does not have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion dollar wall on the border.”

The problem is Trump does have that power because Congress gave it to him. Schiff is referring to the historic case of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company versus Charles Sawyer, in which the Supreme Court rejected the use of inherent executive powers by President Truman to seize steel mills during a labor dispute. He wanted to claim a national security emergency if steel production halted during the Korean War. In a powerful check on executive authority, the Supreme Court rejected his rationale for unilateral action. The Supreme Court was correct. But that was in 1952.

More than two decades later, Congress expressly gave presidents the authority to declare such emergencies and act unilaterally. The 1976 National Emergencies Act gives presidents sweeping authority as well as allowance in federal regulations to declare an “immigration emergency” to deal with an “influx of aliens which either is of such magnitude or exhibits such other characteristics that effective administration of the immigration laws of the United States is beyond the existing capabilities” of immigration authorities “in the affected area or areas.” The basis for such an invocation generally includes the “likelihood of continued growth in the magnitude of the influx,” rising criminal activity, as well as high “demands on law enforcement agencies” and “other circumstances.”

Democrats have not objected to use of this authority regularly by past presidents, including roughly 30 such emergencies that continue to this day. Other statutes afford additional emergency powers. Indeed, a report by the Congressional Research Service in 2007 stated, “Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the president may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.”

Congress spent decades yielding authority to the executive branch. When it agreed with the president, such mighty authority was even celebrated. But now, consider the objections from Representative Joaquin Castro, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He has declared that it would be “profoundly inappropriate for the president of the United States to circumvent the legislative branch and single handedly, against the will of the American people and the American Congress, put up a wall.”

This is a curious statement from one of many lawmakers who supported Obama when he openly circumvented Congress on immigration reforms. Obama ordered agencies to stop enforcing some federal laws and used executive orders to do precisely what Congress refused to do. When Obama declared in a State of the Union address that he would circumvent Congress if it failed to approve his immigration reforms, Democrats cheered at the notion of their own circumvention, if not obsolescence.

Likewise, Castro and his colleagues supported Obama when he ordered the payment of billions out of the Treasury into ObamaCare, after being denied the funds by Congress. These same Democrats were largely silent when Obama attacked Libya without a declaration of war or legislative authorization. Obama funded the Libyan war out of money slushing around in the Pentagon, without a specific appropriation. I represented lawmakers who opposed the Libyan war. I also served as attorney for the entire House of Representatives in successfully opposing the ObamaCare payments. Most Democrats opposed both these lawsuits.

Congress can act to stop circumvention under the National Emergencies Act. Trump must notify Congress of his declaration and detail the powers being claimed under that law. Congress could and should negate the declaration with a vote of both chambers. However, that does not make the declaration unconstitutional. Any declaration would create a myriad of legal issues and likely face an immediate legal challenge. Two questions that a court would have to consider are the source of the authority and the source of any funds. The latter is where some challenges could arise.

Congress gave Trump such authority in the National Emergencies Act, augmenting claims of inherent authority, but the source of the funds could be more challenging. Under two laws in Title 10 and Title 33 of the United States Code, he could seek to use unobligated funds originally set aside for military construction projects, or divert funds from Army civil works projects. There are limitations on the use of such money, and there could be strong challenges to the use of unobligated funds in other areas. There is money there to start but not nearly enough to finish such a wall without proper appropriation. Recall Obama funded the undeclared war in Libya out of money slushing around in the Pentagon, without the new strict constitutionalists objecting from the Democratic side of the aisle.

Courts generally have deferred to the judgments of presidents on the basis for such national emergencies, and dozens of such declarations have been made without serious judicial review. Indeed, many of the very same politicians and pundits declared the various travel ban orders to be facially unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court ultimately lifted the injunctions of lower courts. Moreover, Trump does not have to ultimately prevail to achieve part of his objective. Even if a court were to enjoin construction, the declaration could afford Trump the political cover to end the government shutdown, as the issue moved its way through the courts.

While the matter could be expedited to move through the courts in a matter of months, the government could seek to slow litigation to push any final decision into 2020. There are compelling arguments against funding the entire wall demanded by Trump, although some added border barriers clearly are warranted. However, one can oppose an emergency declaration without claiming that it is facially unconstitutional. It is not.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He served as counsel for members opposing United States involvement in the Libyan war and as attorney for the House of Representatives in their challenge to the unappropriated use of federal funds under ObamaCare. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

350 thoughts on “Yes, Trump Has The Authority To Declare A National Emergency On The Southern Border”

  1. For Natacha and a few others that have no idea of what they are talking about:

    “Trump plan would improve current border situation
    by Byron York | January 10, 2019 05:32 PM
    One remarkable feature of the debate over the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border is how little some commentators seem to know about what the Trump administration is doing. Pundits regularly get facts wrong. Talking heads engage in passionate arguments over dubious premises. Confusion reigns.

    Much of the blame goes to the commentators themselves, who do not appear to have tried very hard to find out what is going on. But some blame also goes to the administration, starting with President Trump himself, which has often been unclear about its plans. So here, in the interest of clarity, is what officials say is happening:

    First, the Department of Homeland Security says there is currently some sort of barrier on 654 miles of the 1,954-mile border. Some of it is high-quality fencing that greatly discourages illegal crossing. But some of it is so old and dilapidated that it is not really a barrier at all. Some is fencing designed to stop vehicles but allow pedestrians to walk right through.

    For almost all of its proposed construction, the administration has settled on a steel bollard design, or what the president has called “steel slats.” It is a hybrid of a fence and a wall, and either word could reasonably be used to describe it. But since Democrats object so strongly to the word “wall,” Trump has taken to calling it a barrier.

    Homeland Security says it has already finished erecting about 35 miles of the barrier and is on track to increase that to 40 in the next few months. About two miles have been put in place at the El Centro Sector in California. (DHS divides the border into nine sectors, and that is how it cites the locations of new barriers.) Another 20 miles has been finished in the El Paso Sector in New Mexico. Fourteen more miles in the San Diego Sector in California are set for completion in May, with another four miles in El Paso slated for completion later this year.

    Then, there are another 75 miles that DHS says are under contract or for which the contract and design process is underway. Those areas cover parts of San Diego, El Centro, the Yuma Sector in Arizona, and the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas.

    Put it all together, and that is about 115 miles. It is all being done, according to DHS, with money that was available in fiscal year 2017 and 2018 appropriations.

    All of that work replaces and upgrades existing fencing. It’s the kind of work that in an earlier era might have been entirely uncontroversial.

    The current fight between Trump and Democrats in Congress is over money for next year — $5 billion to build more barriers. If the administration were to actually get the $5 billion, officials say, it would allow DHS to build up to 215 additional miles of barrier, with about 65 miles being replacement barrier and 150 miles being new construction in areas that currently have no barriers at all.

    The department has already announced where the barriers would go. There would be five miles in the San Diego Sector, 14 miles in the El Centro Sector, 27 miles in the Yuma Sector, nine miles in the El Paso Sector, 55 miles in the Laredo Sector in Texas, and 104 miles in the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas.

    In all, counting work that is done, being done, and planned, the administration would build 330 miles of new barrier, 150 in areas with no barrier today.

    All of it is a project that, in a less crazy time, might be the subject of bipartisan approval. Indeed, as the White House is fond of pointing out, bipartisan majorities in Congress voted in favor of an extensive border barrier back in 2006.

    Politics aside, the bottom line is that even the relatively short lengths of barrier the Trump administration is building will do good. Just look at some of the fencing made from rusted steel helicopter landing mats from the Vietnam era. The administration is replacing it with imposing barriers that will discourage illegal crossings. That’s a net plus.

    And there is no doubt such barriers work. In San Diego, for example, a barrier has made a tremendous difference. “In the 1980s, migrants overran the border and the Border Patrol,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in 2017. “Thousands gathered nightly on a small slice of the border … there, men, women, and children waited for nightfall before making their passage.” In 1986, agents apprehended an astonishing 629,656 illegal immigrants in the San Diego area.

    When U.S. officials constructed one barrier, and then another, that number fell dramatically; by 2015, apprehensions fell below 30,000.

    Now, the flow of migrants presents a new and different problem. While smaller than several years ago, it is largely made up of families and unaccompanied children who have no valid claim to asylum but who cannot, by U.S. law, be returned to their home countries. As long as those migrants can freely cross the border, they can stay in the United States — a situation that will attract more and more illegal immigration.

    The president’s proposal, which in addition to a barrier contains provisions for more immigration judges, more Border Patrol agents, more detention beds, more medical resources, and more technology, would improve the situation. If the political debate were not being fought at such an extreme pitch, that might be obvious to all.”

    1. That’s a great article. Could you provide a link so I can share it? I agree with most points, except that the majority of illegal immigrants are adult men. Although there were some families and children in the caravan, for instance, they were pushed to the front of a majority of male participants.

  2. “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very
    freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way.”

    – Colonel Jessup

  3. “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

    – COLONEL JESSUP

    “Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.”

    “Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater
    responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and
    you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not
    knowing what I know, that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved
    lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you,
    saves lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you
    don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on
    that wall. We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these
    words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them
    as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain
    myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very
    freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide
    it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way.
    Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way,
    I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”

    – A Few Good Men

  4. “CNN’s Jim Acosta Argues With Donald Trump Jr. Over Border Wall Video

    CNN’s Jim Acosta has been getting roasted by conservatives for posting a video that made a great argument for the border wall.

    Acosta was reporting from the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, covering the Presidential visit to the border town in the wake of the government shutdown over disagreements on border security funding. As Acosta awaited the president, he took a video of himself wandering along the secure border wall, describing how safe he felt.

    “We’re not seeing any imminent danger — There are no migrants trying to rush toward this fence. No sign of the national emergency the president has been talking about,” Acosta said in the video. (RELATED: Trump: Government Shutdown Could Last As Long As A Year)

    “I found some steel slats down on the border. But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation,” Acosta tweeted in conjunction with the video.

    The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. responded, “Of course you don’t Jim. That’s because walls work. Thanks for your help proving Trump’s point and simultaneously creating one of the best self-own videos ever!!!”

    Acosta responded, attempting to make an argument for Trump reopening the government.

    Donald Trump Jr. was having none of it, responding “I know this might be hard for you to comprehend Jimbo, but the reason why all of Twitter has been mocking you today is because you were at a part of the border WITH A WALL.”

    “So yes, of course it was working. Replicate that across the border & we’ll all be safer,” Jr. concluded.

    Acosta has yet to respond.

    1. Living much of the time on the other side of the border I feel far safer than anywhere in Acosta’s vicinity.

  5. Bas*&rd — Oxford English Dictionary online:

    1. Informal: An unpleasant or despicable person.

    Certainly doesn’t belong in the filter of a blog advocating free speech.

    1. Typical of you, choosing only the information that serves your opinion. Did you not consider that another common definition is of an illegitimate child? And probably for that reason I would imagine Professor Turley chose to include it in the profanity list.

      His blog, his profanity list. Don’t like it? Don’t come crying to me about it.

      1. Even that isn’t profane. See the definition of profanity in the same online OED.

        Clearly the sense being used is the one I copied. In any case, this is censorship.

        1. Easy to find quotes from Shakespeare’s plays using the word in sense 2. Are we to censor Shakespeare now?

            1. he is channelling CNN in a border wall like way. Ha!

              “San Diego TV station: CNN declined our ‘local view’ because of reports on wall effectiveness”

              A San Diego television station on Thursday said that CNN had asked for a “local view” and then “declined to hear from us” after past reports from the station showed that a border wall was effective.

              “Thursday morning, CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if one of our reporters could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown,” a report by KUSI, an independent station in San Diego that began airing in 1982, begins.

              “KUSI offered our own Dan Plante, who has reported dozens of times on the border, including one story from 2016 that was retweeted by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, and posted on DrudgeReport.com,” it continues while linking to a border fence tour report.

              “We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work,” it concludes. “We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it.”
              https://thehill.com/homenews/media/424876-san-diego-tv-station-cnn-declined-our-local-view-because-of-reports-on-wall

        2. Whatever David.

          Since you seem to have that OED in your hands, how about giving Paul that citation he has asked for months ago?

          Now you’ve officially earned the ignobility of the label of “internet troll”. You’ve graduated from just being an irritating presence on the blog to having your comments tossed by the system for profanity and you complain that you are being censored. It’s a process and pattern that nearly all trolls follow. And now you’ve become one.

          I doubt Professor Turley is going to accommodate your demand that that word be removed from the profanity filter because you expect him to kowtow to you. Don’t like that a prohibited word results in your comment going to the bit bucket? Don’t use that word. It’s that easy.

          Now run along and go bother someone else.

                1. They’ve all been especially crotchety ever since Judge Sullivan gave Flynn his due. See the link below for the idiom at issue:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk_to_the_hand

                  Talk to the hand is an English language slang phrase associated with the 1990s. It originated as a sarcastic way of saying one does not want to hear what the …

        3. Listen to this complainer. David is getting to use the blog without cost to him and without advertisements yet like many people who get entitlements he feels that his entitlement is not great enough.

    2. David, I, too, have had a comment get stuck in the filter because I used the word “b&(&*ization” or something like that. It had nothing to do with illegitimacy or an epithet, of course, but it flagged the filter.

      I like that Professor Turley limits the filter to foul language. We’re free to express whatever opinion we want, and are spared a bit of vulgarity. Plus, we have the opportunity to get creative with euphemisms.

      Our host makes the rules in his house.

    1. From the Wikipedia entry on “The Castle” by Franz Kafka:

      Kafka died before he could finish the novel, and it is questionable whether he intended to finish it if he had survived his tuberculosis. At one point he told his friend Max Brod that the novel would conclude with K., the book’s protagonist, continuing to reside in the village until his death; the castle would notify him on his deathbed that his “legal claim to live in the village was not valid, yet, taking certain auxiliary circumstances into account, he was permitted to live and work there.” However, on 11 September 1922 in a letter to Brod, he wrote he was giving up on the book and would never return to it. As it is, the book ends mid-sentence.

      Repeated for emphasis: “As it is, the book ends mid-sentence.”

  6. “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

    – COLONEL JESSUP

    “Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.”

    “Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”

    – A Few Good Men

  7. The steepest street, at 36% and in Harlech, Wales, is also called Ffordd Pen Lech. Dropped bricks roll down it.

  8. The Real Trump Emergency (cont’d)

    MICHAEL COHEN TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE

    Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer who has implicated the president in campaign finance crimes, will testify publicly to the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7.

    The high-profile hearing, which the panel announced Thursday, is one of the first examples of how Democrats will use their new oversight powers and control of House committees to arrange events that could be embarrassing and distracting for the White House.

    Cohen pleaded guilty last year to various criminal charges, including campaign finance law violations and lying to Congress. He received a three-year sentence. As part of his plea, Cohen claimed that Trump directed him to make improper hush payments to two women claiming to have had affairs with the real estate mogul, a charge the president has denied.

    In a statement, Cohen portrayed his testimony — set to take place about a month before Cohen is scheduled to report to prison on March 6 — as part of his “commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers.” He vowed to “to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired.”

    Edited from: “Michael Cohen Will Testify Publicly To Congress”

    Today’s POLITICO

  9. The Democratic Wall Is Beginning to Crack
    January 10, 2019 5:18 pm

    Some Democratic lawmakers are beginning to crack on their opposition to the wall.

    President Donald Trump and Congress remain at an impasse over funding for Trump’s proposed border wall along the southern border. The standoff has resulted in a partial government shutdown that is now in its 20th day. Trump gave an Oval Office address Tuesday night arguing that there is a crisis at the border and that a physical barrier is necessary in order to secure it.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other Democrats have expressed opposition to any funding for a wall. Pelosi even went as far as calling a border wall “immoral.”

    However, some cracks are beginning to form in Democratic opposition.

    “Some fencing has uses. Some barriers are useful,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D,. Ore.) said.

    “If we have a partial wall, if we have fencing, if we have technology used to keep our border safe, all of that is fine,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) said.

    “There are areas along the border where there are currently fences that are put up or barriers that are put up that need to be enhanced,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) said.

    “Certainly you need barriers and we support barriers,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said.

    “Certain physical barriers can make sense along the border, and a lot of places you already have that,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D., Md.) said.

    “I think there are parts of the border that would benefit from repairing fencing and other barricades that already exist there,” Rep. Katherine Clark (D., Mass.) said.

    Trump met with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday, but the meeting was short after Pelosi refused to consider border security that included a wall, even if Trump reopened the government.

    https://freebeacon.com/politics/the-democratic-wall-is-beginning-to-crack/

    1. You need to at least kind of pay attention to facts. There are areas along the border that presently do have walls, and for which walls are appropriate. There are places where the existing wall needs repairs and reinforcement. Democrats don’t disagree, but that’s not what Trump wants. He wants a “big beautiful wall”, from seal to shining sea–the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. That is not universally appropriate, necessary or even an effective means by which to secure the border. There are more effective and less expensive measures applicable to some areas that experts say need to be taken, but first there needs to be way more cell towers to improve communication. There are vast areas in Texas in which land would need to be taken by eminent domain, and at which there aren’t many illegal border crossings. There is an area with an historic village that has a 19th century church that Trump wants to tear down for his “big beautiful wall”. People in that area won’t stand for it and have promised to sue. Trump won’t listen because he told his disciples there would be a “big beautiful wall” and that Mexico would pay for it. He even said they “might’ actually just write him a check for the whole amount. All of that was bluster, and his continued refusal to listen to reason or even consider reasonable alternatives to border security, and his holding 800K+ federal employees as hostage are based on nothing but his massive ego. That’s really the problem here. He got bullied by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. History will not look kindly on Trump or them.

      For those of you who are reasonable and sane, I suggest that you find out who sponsors Limbaugh and Coulter’s shows, as well as the stations that carry them. Boycott them and their sponsors, and write to let them know that’s what you are doing. Maybe if they feel some financial pain they can empathize with the federal workers who aren’t going to get their checks tomorrow.

      1. I am self employed and when you go for decades only eating what you kill (metaphorically) and not just taking a plate in the cafeteria it changes your level of empathy for such things. I have very little. as you may have guess.

        I could really give a darn if the federal employees get a cushy paycheck or not especially if they havent been working.

        I have relatives in federal service and I can hardly believe how much vacation they get. getting a federal job is a goldmine.

        boy they sure are whining about his constantly on NPR now. sad!

        mange du pain!

      2. “There are areas along the border that presently do have walls, and for which walls are appropriate. There are places where the existing wall needs repairs and reinforcement. Democrats don’t disagree, but that’s not what Trump wants.”

        Trump wanted $5.7 Billion dollars. That is not enough for the type of wall you are talking about. You are spouting nonsense. If the Dems were serious they would have given the $5.7 Billion or more with an agreement to build the wall where appropriate. They are in agreement (or so the Dems say) on border security and illegal immigration. That means there should have been no problem.

        1. CA is stuck with a $75 billion boondoggle vacation train to San Francisco, a gift to union Democrat donors and cronies.

          $5 is a fraction of the cost of a single pork project. I would be perfectly content if we abandoned this train burden, and instead gave $5 and built the wall. We would save so much money. The burden of illegal immigration hits CA hard. To use Democrat parlance, it’s not fair that people in states that don’t have this burden don’t pay their fair share of the costs of illegal immigration. It’s not their emergency rooms closing or clogged with hours’ wait, or the rampant identity theft, the uninsured motorist coverage, or have illegals be allowed to carry lower coverage auto insurance than legal residents or citizens.

      3. Natacha, let me add this:

        “Speaking to the President at the U.S. border in Mission, TX, Rio Grande Valley Acting Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz noted that while they apprehended 450 individuals on Wednesday, 133 of those apprehensions were people from countries other than Central America and Mexico–including two from Pakistan.

        “That includes individuals from India, Pakistan, China, Romania, Ecuador, Nicaragua and on and on,” he said”

        This is a national security issue and is extremely dangerous.

        I will post another story for you at the top of the blog.

      4. Natacha,

        That is clearly not the argument that the Democratic leaders have made. A wall is “immoral.” We should build bridges not walls. Welcoming the caravan. Vilifying Border Patrol because they threw tear gas at a mob of illegal immigrant invaders who were throwing rocks at their heads.

        I completely understand the argument about aligning the wall around properties. One of the criticisms for certain sections is that they are set too far back from the actual border, encroaching on peopel’s land. However, in addition, those who live on the border have been asking for border security for years. It is very dangerous to live there. There are people who have to have a gun on hand at all times, due to the cartel drug and gun runners, as well as water and first aid supplies for people collapsed out in the desert. Finding pregnant women who either died in labor, or were struggling to give birth in harsh conditions is also common.

        They want a secure border; they just don’t want to personally lose any land. The wall needs to be built as close to the border as possible, minimizing any eminent domain. Any loss of property should be generously compensated. For the highly unusual circumstance of the church, hopefully they will find an acceptable solution.

        Walls improve illegal immigration and smuggling. No one act will solve the entire problem. There are a variety of measures we must take. The Wall Works. Build the Wall and stop risking people’s lives.

        For those politicians who oppose the wall so badly, I suggest we bus in load after load of illegal immigrants into their neighborhood. The rich politicians are insulted from the effects that a few states bear the brunt of. Make them feel it personally. Make sure that the schools their kids go to become comprised at least of 35% illegal immigrant kids, so that the test scores go down, the instruction suffers, and their own kids’ education suffer. There is a sweet spot in immigration where we can offer people a great opportunity, including a good education for their kids. Too many, and we all suffer. And illegal immigration is completely irresponsible. Get in line for legal immigration. Stop demeaning the asylum process as a free ticket when you really want a better paying job. That takes food out of the mouths of real asylum seekers.

          1. The wall is not going to be built over every inch of the border. It will be built only to block entry where the wall is needed. It seems Marky likes the rape of women as I think noted earlier and deaths of women and children trying to cross the border. He also seems to like child abuse and slavery along with drugs crossing the border. Based on his comments one might thing he really likes the last most of all.

            From 2011 to 2017 there has been more than a doubling of apprehensions in the Rio Grande. Since 2012 almost a 3 fold increase in the El Paso area. Why have some of the other areas seen a drop in apprehension? Perhaps walls already in place have caused that decrease. Anyone can play the data selection game. The fact is without the wall the US border becomes an attractive nuisance where drugs, illegals and criminals enter. That doesn’t include the diseas that is being spread from our southern border. Marky is too stupid to truly analyze the problems. That is why he tries and fails to play the data game.

    2. Bursting another bubble of false information…..

      Per the link provided in the article: “About 45 million foreigners who were lawfully admitted to the U.S. for business or pleasure through air and sea ports of entry were legally required to leave during 2015. Among these people, 355,338 were still in the U.S. nine months past the end of the year.”

      http://www.justfacts.com/immigration.asp#illegal_overstays

      and more

      Likewise, when reporting on illegal immigration and crime, journalists, politicians, and scholars have distorted the truth by:

      lumping legal and illegal immigrants into the same crime data, which causes the low crime rates of legal immigrants to obscure the high crime rates of illegal immigrants.
      employing bait-and-switch tactics.
      cherry-picking timeframes that hide the full picture.
      misrepresenting association as causation.
      using statistical techniques that are inappropriate to the data.
      failing to mention that the U.S. government has deported more than a million non-citizens who were convicted of committing crimes in the U.S., and yet, they are still more likely to be incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities than the general U.S. population.

      and more use the url above The quotes from Bloody Chuck Schumer are worth the read

        1. “Dumb getting dumber”

          YNOT, there is no “getting” for you. You started out dumb and you will end up dumb without ever having made an intelligent comment on this blog.

  10. Inside the Beltway: Democrats paid for a wall (in Jordan)

    Those with long memories have recalled that prominent Democrats — including Sen. Charles E. Schumer and then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — once heartily approved of funding a barrier wall on the southern U.S. border. Indeed, there are multiple records of their sentiments from back in the day, when the earnest lawmakers embraced border security without gusto. Now comes Part Two.

    “Democrats funded a 287-mile wall in Jordan last year — but won’t fund a border wall in the U.S.,” writes Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft. “Nancy Pelosi argued this week that ‘walls are immoral.’ Chuck Schumer called President Trump’s stand against open borders a ‘manufactured crisis.’ But less than one year ago Pelosi and Schumer approved funding on a 287 mile long border wall — in Jordan.”

    He cites information that offers the proof.

    “The 2018 omnibus spending bill provides just enough funds to build 33 miles of fencing on the Texas border — but it also provides $500 million to help Jordan build a wall and defense line against jihad terrorists trying to cross its 287-mile border with Iraq and Syria,” Brietbart.com analyst Neil Munro wrote in a report published March 22, 2018.

    “The omnibus budget says on page 394: SEC. 9011. Up to $500,000,000 of funds appropriated by this Act for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in ”Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide’ may be used to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders,” Mr. Munro noted.

    “Democrats had no problem funding the wall in Jordan. It was not an ‘immoral wall.’ And that was only 10 months ago,” observes Mr. Hoft.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/9/inside-the-beltway-democrats-paid-for-a-wall-in-jo/

  11. Democrats Crack on the Wall
    10 Jan 2019

    Congressional Democrats are ditching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s ardent opposition to any barrier or wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, as the partial government shutdown continues and President Donald Trump takes his case directly to the border itself.

    ““If we have a partial wall, if we have fencing, if we have technology used to keep our border safe, all of that is fine,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said on CNN.

    “Certainly you need barriers and we support barriers,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) added.

    Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) also backed a barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico.

    “Some fencing is useful, some barriers are useful,” Merkley said. “There’s a lot of surveillance technology. I’ve been to some cities on the border that have triple fencing and have more personnel and have the technology to see the people moving in the middle of the night.”

    Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY)–the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee–said they would support fencing and barriers where necessary along the border.

    Senate Minority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) says he believes there will be a new barrier along the border in the future:

    Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) says Democrats support a barrier including a fence. “Democrats have repeatedly said that we will support border security, we will support all of its elements including fences,” Garamendi said.

    Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the Vice Chair of the Democrat conference, says that the border would benefit from additional barriers. “You know, I think there are parts of the border that would benefit from repairing fencing and other barricades that already exist there,” she told MSNBC.

    These very prominent congressional Democrats’ message on the effectiveness of a wall or barrier or fence is very different from the coordinated message from Schumer and Pelosi just two nights ago when the two Democrat leaders in Congress said in their response to President Trump’s Oval Office address that the wall would be “ineffective.”

    Pelosi called the wall “expensive and ineffective,” something that was an “obsession” of Trump’s–while Schumer bashed Trump’s “ineffective, unnecessary border wall” and said that America does not need a barrier on the border for security. “We can secure our border without an expensive, ineffective wall,” Schumer said in his response to Trump.

    It remains to be seen where this fight goes from here, but the fact that many Democrats are messaging in a very different way from Pelosi and Schumer is particularly interesting as the next stages of this battle heat up.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/01/10/democrats-crack-on-the-wall/

    1. Estovir, it appears you have ambitions for the Turley thread. You’re assuming responsibility. An expectation you shall be an insightful editor.

      Professor Turley teaches at a fine university. He’ll expect you to edit at the level of a fine university. Don’t look the slacker his school rejects.

  12. AVERTING FUTURE SHUTDOWNS

    If members of Congress, the president and vice president cannot fulfill their fundamental responsibility to meet the deadlines for keeping the government fully functioning, their salaries should be withheld just as they are withholding the pay of federal employees across the country.

    Why should Border Patrol agents, airport security screeners, Secret Service agents and other federal employees be deprived of their paychecks — and in many cases still be required to work — while elected officials get paid for not doing their jobs?

    The consequences of their dereliction of duty are innumerable: low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities losing rental assistance. Employers unable to verify the legal status and eligibility of prospective employees. Companies unable to get federal approval for new public stock offerings or small-business loans. Public health and safety also are at risk as environmental inspections cease and disease surveillance suffers.

    Edited from: “We Need To End This Ugly Shutdown. But That’s Not Enough”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

  13. I’m glad the President went to McAllen TX, because it flushed out a big snag with DHS’s border barrier plan for the Rio Grande Sector. The plan (perhaps unofficial, it hasn’t been formally announced) is to build the barrier on the US side, effectively cutting off access to the river from the US side. I can see why the landowners are upset about this plan.

    But there’s a huge legal issue with putting the wall on US land. It would allow foreigners to cross the river unchallenged and technically stand on US soil. From there they can claim the right to a Court Hearing (which they can’t if they never stand on US soil). They will demand to be allowed to stay in the US pending their Hearings. The Court system could be easily overwhelmed (Denial of Service attack).

    I had always assumed that the barrier would have to run down the middle of the river, near the centerline (the actual border), or maybe a few feet on our side needed to build it. The barrier would damage any vessel that tried to get close to it, and be equally hard to scale as the land barrier. It would have sensors to alert CBP to any attempted intrusion or contraband (such as smugglers using drones). The riparian concept might be more complex to build, but legally is simpler to erect, since no Eminent Domain land takings are needed, just temporary easements while under construction. I also assumed that the US side would be patrolled by speedboats, able to reach any point in a few minutes time.

    Why is it that DHS never discussed the design alternatives for the Rio Grande sector?

    1. Peggy Noonan in today’s WSJ sheds light as many of us have been saying for decades on why Dems dont really care for anyine except themselves

      “Democrats never intended to control the border because they think doing nothing marks them as the nonracist party, the compassionate, generous party that Hispanics will see as home. They would reap the electoral rewards in a demographically changing country. They will own the future! Their big donors too opposed border strictness. They don’t think about security a lot, even after 9/11. I think it was Murray Kempton who said Republicans are always hearing the creak of the door at night. It’s true. Democrats are less anxious about security. It’s fair to point out they tend to be more affluent and have the protections money can buy. Their fearlessness is not bravery but obliviousness. They off-load anxiety onto Republicans, who are always mysteriously eager to take it up.”
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/end-this-stupid-shutdown-11547164885

      1. Nooner hitting the sauce in time for this exquisite piece of nothing. At least she didn’t name heartthrob Ronnie.

        1. Another YNOT insult that has no opinion or fact to add. YNOT doesn’t need any sauce to act dumb. He started that way and in the end will finish that way.

  14. Call me confused. I am not a constitutional attorney, but I offer the following question. If Trump’s action of declaring a national emergency would be considered constitutional, on what grounds would it be opposed? It seems a conundrum to determine if Congress could oppose the action because of its constitutional right to appropriate funds. Wouldn’t a national emergency(as perceived by Trump) supersede Congress’ control of the purse strings?

    Heaven forbid if there was a nuclear attack against the U.S. Would the President have to get approval from Congress to declare a national emergency before considering defense of the country and retaliation? I do not believe this inept, divisive Congress would ever agree to put politics aside and deal with such a dire situation!

      1. “don’t play the idiot; there are too many real ones already.”

        YNOT, you are the lead idiot who contributes nothing.

    1. Congress has delegated these Emergency Powers to the President precisely for rapid-response time.

      If 2/3 of Congress are unhappy with an Emergency Powers Action, they can pass veto-proof legislation blocking the Action. This provides a check on excessive use of power, after a reasonable time for deliberation and assessment of results.

      I think the Federal Courts could unleash a major Constitutional crisis by attempting to short-circuit this check available to Congress. Many people are very worried that some Federal Judges now expect to “fill in” for Congress when it can’t decide a policy. They’re wrong. If this Congress cannot legislate on an issue, it defers to the last Congress who legislated on the issue.

      The Judge who is convinced s/he has the power to dictate a nation-wide policy based on political activist casework is treading on very thin ice, particularly in immigration policies.

      Article I, Section 8 is very clear — Congress has exclusive power to determine policy.
      The Exec implements the rules set by Congress. The Court has no policymaking role in Immigration to be found in the Constitution, other than to sort out individual cases with tricky facts. A Judge cannot change immigration law as passed by Congress. But there are many arrogant enough to defy Article I, Section 8.

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