Trump Is Right
If you want a good example of fake news, the hysteria over President Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the border is it.
You are being told by a media mob that the president has made himself a dictator, that he is using powers he does not have. Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer called Trump's decision "lawless."
Here are the facts:
- Congress has repeatedly granted the president the power to declare national emergencies since 1976.
- The left-wing Brennan Center for Justice has identified 123 statutory powers -- that means authority already existing in the law approved by Congress -- that the president can exercise under an emergency declaration.
- This power has been used nearly 60 times and by every president since Jimmy Carter, who declared two national emergencies. Reagan declared six. George H. W. Bush four. Clinton seventeen. George W. Bush twelve. Obama thirteen.
- Donald Trump has already used this power three times during his administration. No one freaked out then.
- There are 31 active national emergencies still in effect.
- In 2005, two Democrat governors, Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) and Bill Richardson (D-NM) declared states of emergency at their borders due to surging illegal immigration, crime and violence -- the same issues President Trump is citing today.
President Trump has every legal right to issue this emergency declaration.
But, as he conceded during his press conference this morning, there will be a flurry of lawsuits. And he will probably lose in lower left-wing courts still dominated by Obama appointees. I expect the administration to fast-track its appeals to the Supreme Court, where I also expect Trump will prevail, just as he did on the travel ban.
Here's something to keep in mind: No one questions the president's authority to send troops to the border. Every president in recent memory has done it. Those troops regularly help build additional fencing to secure the border.
If the president can do that, why can't he tell them to dig holes and pour concrete? Of course, he can, as constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley explains here and here.
There is an emergency at the border. Current apprehensions have surged 84% and are on pace to reach a 10-year record of more 730,000 illegal border crossings this year.
In the past two years, ICE agents arrested more than 260,000 criminal aliens who were responsible for 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 murders. These crimes, and the untold suffering they caused, never should have happened.
The failure of our politicians to secure the border and protect our citizens is what is truly immoral in this debate, not the wall.
President Trump is right to issue this emergency declaration.
The order Trump signed today authorizes the administration to reallocate approximately $8.1 billion from various sources.
- $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
- $2.5 billion from Department of Defense funds for Counterdrug Activities.
- $3.6 billion from Department of Defense military construction projects.
In short, the president is using seized assets from drug cartels and funds already set aside for drug interdiction and military construction projects. There's no better use of these funds than securing the border to keep drugs and gangs out.
By the way, the left is all in on open borders. But don't take my word for it.
Watch Beto O'Rourke vow to tear down the El Paso wall. And just on the other side of that wall is one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
A False Argument
Now that I knocked down the fake news, I want to address the false argument that many conservatives may fall for, and which some Republican member of Congress are already making. And that is: What about the precedent this emergency declaration will set?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised it yesterday because she knows conservatives are susceptible to arguments about process and the rule of law. Pelosi suggested a future liberal president might declare a national emergency on gun violence.
Others have fretted about a future President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declaring a national emergency to impose her Green New Deal.
That argument is absurd, and we shouldn't fall for the left's scare tactics.
As I have already noted, there is no precedent being set here. The authority Trump is using has been used repeatedly by every president since Jimmy Carter. Trump is following precedent.
Moreover, Pelosi is demonstrating her contempt for the Constitution. The president does not have the power to nullify a constitutional right. There is no authority to unilaterally invalidate the Second Amendment.
No American has a right to have a border without a wall. But every American has a right to own a firearm. No American will lose anything because of the president's emergency declaration. But his order will keep people who should not be here out of the country.
Finally, when the left is in power, it doesn't care about precedent. Liberals do whatever they have to do to advance their agenda.
When state after state passed laws protecting traditional marriage, the Obama Administration and other left-wing politicians refused to defend those laws. What was the precedent for that?
There was a time in our nation's history when filibusters against judges and executive appointments were extraordinarily rare. But after George W. Bush was elected, the left broke precedent and abused the filibuster to repeatedly block his judges in order to preserve its grip on the courts.
Later, when it was convenient for Democrats, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke the rules to make it easier to confirm Obama's judges in order to preserve the left's grip on the courts.
I am glad Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that he supports the president's emergency declaration because a few weeks ago he indicated that he would not.
Now I hope McConnell will change his mind again and end the legislative filibuster. Had he done so when President Trump urged him to at any point in the past two years, we would not be in this position today.
Sen. McConnell doesn't want to change the rules on the legislative filibuster now because, ever the gentleman, he assumes Chuck Schumer will afford him the same courtesy to block legislation the next time Democrats control the White House and the Senate.
Progressives won't hesitate to fundamentally change the rules the next time they have power and the chance to complete their socialist transformation of America.
We shouldn't be trying to govern the country with one hand tied behind our back!