Murderers. Rapists. Invasions. Drugs. Chaos. This is the scene that President Donald Trump has been painting of our southern border. But this is far from the truth.
The president just issued his first veto, which rejected Congress’ resolution to overturn his emergency declaration to fund a wall along the southern border. The resolution was passed 59-42 in the Senate, with a dozen Republicans going against their party to vote yes.
Trump has been using fear mongering to try and get support for his wall even though 60 percent of Americans don’t support significant new construction at the border, according to Gallup. The American people recognize Trump’s lies and exaggerations and understand that there is no emergency.
Illegal immigration at the southern border has been decreasing over the past couple of decades, dropping from more than 200,000 people apprehended in 2000 to just more than 40,000 in 2018, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Control. Most illegal immigrants in the United States are here because they overstayed their visas — an instance recently brought to the forefront of media attention by rapper 21 Savage.
Also, illegal immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than U.S. citizens, so Americans aren’t in any more danger than they normally would be. Border cities, such as El Paso, are some of the safest cities in the United States. Trump claims this is because of fencing along the border, but there is no evidence to suggest crime rates went down after the fences went up.
Most drugs that enter the country are brought through ports of entry. Criminals who want to come to the United States will not be deterred by a wall.
Not only is there no emergency, but his declaration is also a clear violation of the Constitution.
Article I states that it’s Congress’ job to appropriate money for the Executive Branch to spend. Trump originally asked Congress for $5.7 billion for a border wall. When an agreement could not be reached, the United States went through the longest government shutdown in its history, which lasted 34 days.
President Trump finally backed off, agreeing to a deal that gave money towards border security but no money for a border wall. Trump then declared a national emergency.
The only reason Trump declared a national emergency is because Congress refused to give him the money he wanted. When announcing his declaration in the Rose Garden, he said, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”
Trump’s move sets a terrible precedent. Congress specifically did not give him the money for his wall. Presidents should not be allowed to abuse their power and go around Congress for money. His emergency declaration is a power grab that spits on the principle of checks and balances.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney decided to vote for the resolution to overturn Trump’s emergency declaration. “This is a vote for the Constitution and for the balance of powers that is at its core … for the Executive Branch to override a law passed by Congress would make it the ultimate power rather than a balancing power,” Romney said.
After Trump’s veto, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “It is no surprise that the president holds the rule of law and our Constitution in minimal regard. There is no emergency. Congress has refused to fund his wall multiple times; Mexico won’t pay for it; and a bipartisan majority in both chambers just voted to terminate his fake emergency.”
An expensive border wall would be ineffective, and there is no emergency at the southern border. Trump’s emergency declaration violates Article I of the Constitution. Congress only needs 8 more Republican senators to overturn Trump’s veto; otherwise, it’ll have to be beaten in court. Sixteen states are currently suing to stop Trump’s declaration. We cannot allow this president to violate the Constitution anymore. The real national emergency isn’t at the border — it’s in the Oval Office.