CORTES: If Congress Won’t End The Shutdown, Trump Should Simply Close The Border

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Steve Cortes Contributor
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President Trump is showing the Democrats that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure America’s borders, despite their cynical government shutdown to prevent funding for a border wall.

In a series of tweets, the president made clear that, even without the wall or a fully-funded government, he will do what is necessary to get our lawless border under control.

“We will be forced to close the southern border entirely if the obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” the president wrote.

He is absolutely right — America simply can’t afford to keep kicking this can down the road. For more than three decades since the 1986 amnesty bill, Americans have been waiting for the border security they were promised. In exchange for granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, we were supposed to get a secure border and an orderly immigration system. But for 30 years, Americans were locked in a waking nightmare as successive administrations ignored their side of bargain. That’s why we elected Donald Trump as president — to get it done.

The president’s threat makes a mockery of Democrats’ repeated claims that they care about border security, highlighting the fact that even as they pay lip service to the concept, they steadfastly refuse to take the steps necessary to achieve it.

The Democrats have done everything in their power to keep the current, broken immigration system in place. It is their leaders who want mass amnesty for those who flaunt our laws, purely because they believe it will expand their voter base. It is they who have sabotaged every attempt to crack down on illegal border crossings while sending lawyers out to stop every effort to reform our abused, defrauded asylum system. Democrat-appointed judges keep issuing nationwide injunctions from within their liberal enclaves to stymie President Trump’s efforts to prevent an onslaught by the so-called “caravan” of Central American migrants, many of whom expressly intend to make fraudulent asylum claims.

Democrats need to know that doing nothing about border security is no longer an option, shutdown or no shutdown. Illegal immigration is a serious threat to our communities, and President Trump has made clear that he will do whatever it takes to solve the problem. Denying him the tools he needs to do that job effectively just means that he will have to resort to other methods.

What the Democrats don’t seem to understand is that a physical wall is the common sense, proven, and effective way to wrestle a messy, lawless border into shape. If they continue to play hardball with wall funding, though, the Constitution and federal immigration laws grant the president very broad authority to regulate the border.

The president is commander in chief of the military, and can order a more robust force to impose order on the border if he so chooses. But as the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed, he is also granted authority under federal law to “by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

President Trump has the legal authority to close the border entirely, and if congressional Democrats won’t reopen the government by appropriating the small sum he needs to get started on a border wall, that may be the best option he has left for protecting the country.

The president has signaled a new phase in the shutdown fight, and now it’s the Democrats’ move.

Steve Cortes (@CortesSteveis a member of President Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.