Congress is at an impasse over the need for a wall and no Congressional solution is in sight. Another shutdown is in sight and the recalcitrance of the Democrats is at the crux of the matter. The president is stubborn as well but the reasons for the wall make much more sense than the reasons against it.
In fact, the Democrats oppose it on purely political grounds. They do not want the president to have a success on his signature issue.
They also want the voters.
Recently, Texas preliminarily found 95,000 illegal immigrants on the voter rolls — and that they had voted, repeatedly! A Pennsylvania lawsuit on trial right now has heard testimony that 100,000 illegal immigrants are on the voter rolls as well (though a fact disputed by Pennsylvania election officials). One can only imagine the number in California, for example. That number will probably never be known because only a Republican state government would so investigate.
On the other side of the aisle, the Republicans largely support a wall but they have been hindered by #NeverTrumpers and “Washingtonian” Republicans in their ranks who fear being called a racist more than any other possible fate. The fact that they are not racists is immaterial, the charge is enough to leave them sputtering. This is because the legacy media is only too cooperative with the Democrats in keeping these Republicans in line by widely broadcasting the racist lie when an irresponsible Democrat makes it. It is a time-tried strategy that works for them.
In short, there is no effective legislative branch solution to the porous border and the resultant Opioid Crisis. Executive action is required.
The National Emergencies Act, passed in 1975, was enacted to actually rein in the powers of the Executive. Since Woodrow Wilson, successive presidents have declared “emergencies” to act where Congress was unable or refused to do thus allowing the Executive to substitute their own will for that of Congress. In the post-Vietnam era, there was an appetite in Congress to reign in the Executive and Gerald Ford signed the act into law.
The Act was first used by Jimmy Carter to address extraordinary actions required to deal with the Iran Hostages situation. Over the past 40 years, the power has been used a total of 58 times by every president since Ford and 31 of these National Emergencies are still in force. These emergencies are often matters that ordinary American would not consider an “emergency.” Some examples are: 1995 – to probe Iranian oils deals; 1997 – Sudanese sanctions; 2001 – to support the Western Balkans and interdict Albanian expansion in the Republic of Macedonia and the like. Most of the 31 “emergencies” still in place are very similar to these examples.
Clearly, if the remote matter concerning Sudanese sanctions rises to the level of a “National Emergency” as contemplated by Congress, the Opioid Crises on our Southern border could easily meet that standard. President Trump could declare a specific National Emergency under Title 10 where Section 284 authorizes the Secretary of Defense to “provide support for the counterdrug activities or activities to counter transnational organized crime” to deal with the border. Democrats have promised to fight it in the Courts and the rogue and highly politicized Ninth Circuit will almost certainly find fault with anything that President Trump does.
Alternatively, President Trump could build the wall by acting under the power of an existing “National Emergency” declared in the past and currently renewed by successive presidents.
In 1995, President Clinton declared a National Emergency “to block assets and to prohibit transactions with significant narcotics traffickers centered in Colombia.” Surely, the illegal importation of narcotics could be discovered to embrace Columbian drug lords as those drug lords traffic their product across our southern border.
Or, in 2011, President Obama declared a national emergency to block property of transnational criminals by specific organizations including Los Zetas in Mexico. Surely, the president could act to secure the border under this authority.
Last, President Trump might use his own, already declared National Emergency from 2018 to deal with situation. That order was aimed at Nicaragua in response to violence and the Ortega regime’s “systematic dismantling and undermining of democratic institutions and the rule of law” that constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The recent left-wing funded caravans out of Central America might ironically provide the actual reason for the wall.
These are just three examples. Clearly, the Executive has the power and the duty to act to protect the Republic. President Trump must act when Congress refuses to do so.
Michael Patrick Flanagan represented the 5th District of Illinois in the historic 104th Congress. Prior to his Congressional Service, Michael was commissioned in the United States Army Field Artillery. Michael and his firm, Flanagan Consulting LLC, have represented both large and small corporations, organizations, and associations. In 2009, Michael entered public service again with the United States Department of State in Iraq as the Senior Rule of Law Advisor on the Maysan Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Maysan, Iraq. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.