Support the president and build the wall? Or, stop the attempt to go around Congress?

Should we leave President Trump’s emergency declaration in place, and shift a pile of money from military construction to the borders, and support the president?

Or should the emergency declaration be shut down by Congress?

Let’s take a look.

Build that wall. Support the president.

border arrests

The number of people arrested at the border went up by 31% last month.

Which means, strict immigration policies–like making asylum more difficult to achieve and border detentions more likely– haven’t decreased the number of immigrants trying to cross into the US, mostly families fleeing violence and poverty.

national emergency declarations may be more common than you think

Including President Trump’s declaration, there are now 32 national emergencies active in the US.

This status was meant for a crisis in which the normal legislative process is too slow and clunky. When the president declares a “national emergency” more than 100 provisions can suddenly be used, like the ability to shutdown certain communications or freeze bank assets.

It’s a powerful tool, mostly untested in the courts.

Geek out on more background here.

Congress already decided: No wall funding.

power of the purse

The constitution gives the power of the purse to the legislative branch. In other words, Congress decides how to fund the government, and for the President to declare an emergency is simply a go-around for a process that is written into our constitution.

wall funding not supported by the country

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday reports that 60% of the public opposes the President’s decision to declare a national emergency to build the wall, and 39% are in favor.

humanitarian crisis will be addressed by funding that’s already been passed

In addition to $1.3 million for border fencing, the funding bill allocates $560 million for drug inspection at ports of entry, and for 600 more Customs and Border Protection officers.

$563.4 million will go to 75 more immigration judge teams to help move along asylum hearings.

$415 million will go to humanitarian relief including medical care, transportation and food for migrants.

The Coast Guard, the Secret Service and the Transportation Security Administration will also receive funding increases and new equipment.

over time, there’s been a significant decrease in border arrests

Border arrests are currently higher than they have been in several years, but well below historic numbers. For example, arrests for illegally crossing the border was around 1.64 million in 2000 (under President Clinton). In 2018, they were around 400,000.

lawsuits

16 states filed lawsuits against the President, claiming they collectively stand to lose millions in federal funding that will now be diverted to the border wall.

They also say that construction will cause “irreparable environmental damages” to the natural resources of California and New Mexico.

And, they argue that President Trump’s declaration has no basis, using his own comments as support. Publicly, President Trump commented that he didn’t “need” to declare a national emergency but is doing so because it’s “faster.”

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