I want to state up front that the subjects in this article are very divisive in nature but things I think need to be addressed. This article represents my opinion and is intended to be an examination of my perspective. I have lived across this Country and I want to state for the record that I love it and the people that it is made up of. Based on 62 years of being part of this Country I am disappointed by our Government’s management of the Immigration process. I feel the current way that immigration is handled is cruel and inhumane to the innocent and inept and impotent towards those that would do us harm. I was proud to see the President be Presidential today and I hope the Congressional Leadership can follow his example to truly work to solve the issue.
On January 26, 2019 a big countdown clock was started, and it runs out of time in 21 days.
President Donald J. Trump, in order to get paychecks for all the families impacted by the shutdown and get the Federal Government back to work, offered Democrats a compromise. He agreed to sign a 3-week continuing resolution (a funding bill that fully funds the Government for a set time period) in return for their agreement to negotiate in good faith. He is requesting the House of Representatives produce a budget resolution that meets the needs of the American People, the needs of Government, and the needs of the Country. As He is accountable for the safety of this country, he wants the resolution to include sufficient funding to adequately secure our Southern Border.
The Far-Left Base was ecstatic because that signaled to them that they had beat the President and had won the battle. Talk show Pundits exclaimed gleefully that the President had flinched and had been schooled by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. They extolled her virtues and declared that she had shown the President who was “really boss”.
Those same Pundits confidently predicted that any border barrier proposition from the Republicans would still be dead on arrival and the Speaker would again deprive President Trump of completing one of the few campaign promises he has yet to fulfill. They were, unfortunately, overlooking one small caveat that the President added, almost as an afterthought.
In his address to the country he also stated that if negotiations failed to provide the necessary funding for a physical barrier, he would use his authority under the National Emergencies Act to declare a National Emergency. Here is what the Act says:
NEA Section 201 authorizes the president to declare a national emergency. The proclamation of a national emergency must be immediately transmitted to Congress and published in the Federal Register.1,2 Under NEA Section 301, statutory emergency authorities enabled by the national emergency declaration cannot be exercised until the president specifies the provisions of law under which the president or other officials will act. Such specification may be made either in the declaration or in subsequent Executive Orders published in the Federal Register and transmitted to Congress.
If forced to use this Executive power, the President can identify virtually any condition as a National Emergency especially when he can demonstrate that our safety is in danger. That empowers him to call on any Agency in the Executive Branch and identify resources or services made available through their Emergency Authority. He can then proceed to deal with the Emergency using those resources for one year, unless he delivers a renewal notice to Congress 90 days before that date. He can also terminate the National Emergency if he determines it no longer exists.
For Instance, he could leverage the resources of the Army Corps of Engineers that has both the man power and skill sets necessary to build the wall or oversee the building of the wall. Using the Emergency Spending Authority vested within the various Departments that make up the Executive Branch, he can transfer unused funds to deal with the purchase of land and materials. Using his Emergency Authority, he can enact Eminent Domain and historically that action has completely bypassed the courts.
Now for those on the Left that rely on activist judges to try to throw roadblocks in this President’s way and think they could stall this strategy in the courts until the 2020 Election, I would recommend they read the Termination Clause of the Act:
A national emergency can be terminated if the president issues a proclamation or if Congress enacts a joint resolution terminating the emergency…
So, what does that mean? In order to end an Emergency Proclamation, both Houses of Congress would have to work together on a Joint Resolution to terminate it. Nowhere in the Act’s language is there an alternate remedy.
What do you think the likelihood of Leader McConnel partnering with Speaker Pelosi on a Joint Resolution that would terminate something that the Speaker was unwilling to faithfully negotiate for? Have you seen pigs flying lately?
If that’s the case, why does the President not pull the trigger right now? I don’t have any secret insight, but if I were to venture a guess, I would say that he views this as a Nuclear Option and a solution of last resort. I think that he is trying to give the Speaker an opportunity to save face and look like a real Leader. Despite the unpopularity of the Shutdown, securing the Country is still a major desire of most of the Country.
If the Democrats would negotiate with the Republicans to solve the decades old issues with Immigration Law in a bi-partisan manner, I think that would go a long way to insuring incumbent members would have an easy path to reelection in 2020.
If however, she attempts to take a Queen of the Hill stance and hold her position, the large population of Independents will likely “Throw the Bums Out” in two years. I think most of the Country is sick and tired of Washington’s ineptitude and petty politics. Keep in mind that they just saw the President rise above politics for the good of the Nation. He made a grand gesture and agree to work with the Democratically Controlled House. Bottom line is that now Speaker Pelosi has a lot of eyes on her. The Democrats may have won the battle, but they could easily lose the war!
If Speaker Pelosi refuses to fulfill her role in creating legislation to solve the danger posed by an open Border, President Trump will declare a National Emergency and he will get the wall built. The Speaker on the other hand would then get nothing except a real black mark with most of the Country.
In addition to that, The President will have an opportunity to lay out his case to the Public, at the State of the Union, which will occur before the clock runs out. If people were listening today when he announced the end of the Shutdown, he gave everyone a small preview of his case.
Here is the justification for declaring an Emergency. We are being invaded through a very porous and impotent Southern Border. The dangers and inhumanity posed by human trafficking, an endless flow of drugs, the threat of terrorists, and the approaching caravans should make a pretty convincing argument.
If he really wants to seal the deal, however, he will also reveal the incredible increase in people apprehended trying to sneak into this country illegally. The current monthly volume of foreigners caught not going through a legal Port of Entry are some of the highest totals in years.
I’ve attached the results of data maintained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and updated as of December of last year. Anyone can look at the recent trends and see the pending danger.
This shows that the number of people trying to sneak into this country is on the rise and if October and November FY (Fiscal Year) 2019 are any indication of what’s in store for us this year, we will have almost 1,000,000 Illegals clogging up our Immigration system. This will impact Border enforcement resources, court dockets, and communities that must feed and care for these Men, Women, and Children when they are relocated. In addition, the number of arrests for known criminals caught in the masses increases constantly as they try to use these waves to hide in the overflow.
If that’s not an Emergency, I don’t know what is. Keep in mind, these numbers simply reflect the population that was apprehended. No one knows how many made it undetected because we have no way of measuring that (except maybe the 2020 census results?)
Why do we need a “Big, Beautiful Wall”? The truth is, we don’t. At least not everywhere. But it is guaranteed that everywhere you do have a barrier that is extremely difficult to traverse, you force most of the traffic to detour. It’s the same reason you have locks on your doors and windows.
No house is impenetrable but if you can make it look that way to a would-be thief, they are much more likely to pick another target. If they are intent on gaining entry anyway, they will seek the point that appears the weakest. You add secondary security at those points, and you eliminate 99% of the threat. This logic is based on the dual border strategy of Israel which has proven quite effective.
Interestingly, the remaining 1% will cost almost as much to stop as the 99% and that group poses the greatest risk. If, however, you simplify the effort necessary to police the 99% you free tremendous resources to be able to focus on the 1%.
Right now, the groups that are encouraging the people that make up the Caravans to invade the U.S., can legitimately tell them they have at least a 50/50 chance of getting into the country. Once they are on U.S. soil, our laws make it extremely difficult to send them back. We also can’t hold them for more than 20 days, so we end up scheduling them for a future court date, they leave the facility and we never see 90% of them again.
This means that every year the population of people that don’t naturally speak the language, have very few personal resources for self-sufficiency, may not have a marketable skill, and must operate in the shadows are dispersed into local communities. From there they migrate towards opportunity if they are determined or towards Sanctuary Cities if they want or need Government Support and/or legal protection.
Given their plight, many that seek out Sanctuary Cities (or States) fall victim to local gangs or workgroups. They can be enslaved and forced to work off a debt that is never actually reduced. This is a terrible way for people to live and it is terrible that our politicians support a system that creates this people mill.
There is also a cost to the citizens of this country for supporting this population. A new study authored by Yale University’s Dr. Mohammad Fazel Zarandi estimates that as of 2014 there were as many as 22.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States. This is double the previous estimates and points to a massive problem if it is true.
If half of that illegal alien population exists in Sanctuary Cities that means approximately 10 – 11 Million people were drawn there because they may need help and assistance (or protection from the law).
Supporting 50% of that population (5M) even with bare necessities has a huge price tag. At a third world level of existence of $10 a day of Government and Community Services the costs would be $50 Million a day, $350 Million a Week, $18 Billion a Year. Now who among you thinks that supporting this population only costs $10 a day?
That money must come from somewhere because Government doesn’t create money (except for some Presidents). That means every tax payer (even if you don’t live in a Sanctuary City) is going to have to add at least $100 to their tax contribution every year to pay for these services. Forbes estimates that the real cost is closer to $500 per taxpayer according to their most recent analysis.
It’s even higher if you choose to live in a Sanctuary City. Municipalities are raising local sales taxes and service fees to cover their investment in the protection and care of illegal residents. All told the cost to the country is estimated to be a high as $135 Billion per year according to this report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
A More Common-Sense Approach
How much more sense would it make to set up a system that allows migrants easy access to our job market and an enhanced application for citizenship, provided they follow guidelines and make a contribution to their community. That is what our Legislators should be working on instead of Grandstanding against common sense deterrents that force potential immigrants to make the right decisions.
Democrats cry out that they are the compassionate party, but they in fact are becoming the enablers of this underground culture because they won’t allow the laws to be corrected. The Republicans are not guiltless either and many of them have also failed to do their job when they were in control! Right now, though, they are not in charge of the side that makes the law. That is up to Speaker Pelosi. If nothing moves on this issue during this congress, it is because she did not want it to.
That was the road we were headed down until January 25th when the President created an opportunity to solve this HUGE issue once and for all. He is willing to take responsibility for the results which gives all the Politicians cover. He is willing to step up and say he is now responsible for our National Security if he gets the tools to do it the way his experts say it needs to be done. What do the Democrats really have to lose, other than a political tit for tat.
If Congress squanders this opportunity, they will be held accountable by the American People and the President will make sure that is a major discussion point during the State of the Union. Right now, if we are attacked and the responsible party gained access through the Southern Border, Democrats will blame the President and Republicans will blame Congress and we are back to square 1.
Congressional Leadership, I would like to ask you, what could you create if you had no political risk and the support of the majority of the country? Speaker Pelosi, you have a real opportunity in front of you. You can initiate solutions to this problem that have eluded all of your predecessors.
Here are some of the issues our Government Leadership must address. How do we update our immigration laws to meet the demands of an expanding economy? How do we deter those that would try to use gaps in our borders for illegal and inhumane activities? How do we incorporate a huge population that is currently living in the shadows and make them legal participants in our great Nation? Can we figure out a way to effectively use the money we save with effective as effective immigration policy to help our developing neighbors improve their home country, so our Country is not creating the moth to the flame effect?
This is the fork in the road. Does the Speaker engage and work to finally solve this issue or does she show all those independent voters out there that the Democrats have no vision, they only care about their base, and no matter what it costs the country, stop President Trump from getting any victories?
Please get this right Speaker Pelosi!