In this time of stasis in Congress and a national security crisis at the border, the president should strongly consider declaring a national emergency on the border and temporarily diverting a small fraction of the national budget to build the border wall. The invasion of illegal aliens has reached the point of a national security threat. Failure to recognize the gravity of the issue is willful submission to cognitive dissonance.
The border is wide open, and hundreds of thousands are entering the country illegally. On average we are interdicting more than 10 people every day who are known or suspected terrorists. While not all illegal aliens commit violent crimes against Americans, there are still dangerous gang members and other malevolent intentioned people who are pouring into America.
At the same time, Congress, under Republicans and Democrats, have failed to address the border wall issue. Republican leaders assigned my bill to build a border wall and pay for it through taxing remittances to Mexico and other foreign nations, reducing foreign aid to nations, and increasing fees for international visitors to the U.S., was assigned to seven committees. That is a process designed to kill the bill.
The Senate is stymied because members do not want to change their unconstitutional 60-vote rule, thereby allowing Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and a minority of Democrats to control this issue.
Once the wall is begun and completed, the funding used under the auspices of the national emergency would be repaid, hopefully by implementing the funding approach of my border wall bill.
The main argument against the president taking this action is that future presidents might try to use this contingency to declare an emergency over climate change or other divisive issues as a shortcut around Congress. There is also concern that the courts will prevent the declaration. Nevertheless, President Trump has tried to work through Congress for a long-term solution to an immediate national security crisis but has been rebuffed.
We must face the reality of this situation. Our nation is being overrun by those who want to illegally enter the United States. Those with legislative responsibility and authority have failed to respond.
America has fundamentally rejected executive action without either congressional or constitutional authority. In this case, executive action is necessary not because of congressional inaction, but because of the persistent danger posed by a porous border that is crossed illegally by thousands of people every day. The drugs that are smuggled into the country largely come across our southern border. Human trafficking is rampant. Environmental damage is extensive as those crossing the border illegally, simply discard their garbage and unwanted items in the pristine desert wildernesses of the United States. Many illegal aliens are injured or killed pushing their way into the country — either by each other or from the ruggedness of nature. Drug cartels have seized control of our southern border in many places. This is a national security crisis.
This is a crisis that can be solved. The need is immediate. Delay will exacerbate the conditions and further imperil humanity — those legally in the United States, our citizens, and those attempting to come illegally into the country.
Arizona residents along the border demand that their national government protect them. How do I justify government inaction to the rancher who explained that he has been the victim of multiple home invasions and dozens of burglaries at his border home by illegal aliens?
What do I tell the Border Patrol agents who are underfunded and understaffed who risk their lives everyday along the border?
The government is partially shutdown because congressional Democrats refuse to acknowledge the perilous conditions of the border and have pledged to prevent the building of a border wall for political reasons. This indifference is causing the surge along the border that has reached a national security crisis.
And many of my colleagues want to perpetuate the incentives for illegal aliens to enter the country by proposing trading an amnesty program for a border wall. Don’t be surprised if amnesty happens while funding for a border wall is incomplete or pulled later. After all, this has happened in the past already. Performance, by building a wall, must be completed before we give in to demands from the open borders crowd.
Our colleagues in the Senate refuse to consider the House Republicans’ proposal to fund the wall. Now that the Democrats control the House, the speaker also rejects the imperative to fund a border wall. The government is now in a partial shutdown.
The president should exercise his authority to declare a national state of emergency and commence building a border wall. His political opponents have left him with no other choice but to make the declaration or watch the continued abrogation of our national security, and consequently our nation’s sovereignty.
Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) has represented Arizona in the United States House since 2017.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.