What you need to know about the border wall bruhaha…

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve put up a few posts addressing the border wall legislative mess.

To get you ready for weekend cocktail party debates on “the bill” and National Emergency, I’ve pulled together the posts into a sort of border wall primer.


For openers, Dems like to say that Trump doesn’t have a plan … or that his defacto plan is “a concrete wall from sea to sea”.

Yes, the “build the wall” campaign rhetoric provides fodder for the sea-to-sea claimers, but Trumps plan (yes, there is one) has evolved to about 225 miles of steel slat barriers, strategically placed to slow the inbound flow across the borders and channel border crossers to bolstered “ports-of-entry.

See Cutting to the chase: What exactly is Trump demanding?

But, walls are ineffective and fundamentally immoral, right?


Immorality and ineffectiveness

Pelosi has repeatedly ranted that walls are both immoral and “don’t work”.

The shallowness and hypocrisy of that claim is best evidenced by taking a glance at California’s border with Mexico.

It’s fortified with walls, secondary fences and armed points-of-entry along its entirety.

Simply put, if walls are immoral and ineffective, shouldn’t Pelosi and crew be clamoring to tear down the immoral and ineffective wall between San Diego and Tijuana?

See Should the border wall between San Diego and Tijuana be torn down?


The San Diego – Tijuana wall

Not only, are there no cries to tear down the San Diego – Tijuana wall, a week ago, DHS announced that it is issuing “a waiver to ensure the expeditious construction and replacement of approximately 12.5 miles of secondary wall near the international border in the state of California.”  Say, what?

See DHS Expedites Border Wall Project in San Diego … say what?


The “deal”

The bill that was passed was worse than I expected given the funding level and poison pills that the Dems planted (and GOP caved on) … e.g giving local mayors veto authority.

Trump’s major gain: the immorality and ineffectiveness issue is off the table.

By signing it, Pelosi has ceded that high ground.

As W.C. Fields would say: “Madame, we’ve established your position. Now, we’re just haggling over price.”

See: Why Trump should feel ok about the border deal…

Plus, Trump has other options.


National Emergency

A key point is that National Emergencies oft declared (e.g. Obama declared 12 of them) and tend to remain active for long periods (e.g. one of Pres. Carter’s is still operative).

The definition of “emergency” is vague, giving presidents wide latitude.  And, the executive authority is quite broad.

See FYI: “National Emergencies” are neither rare nor short-lived.

My view: Trump stands a good chance that his national emergency declaration will stand up in court … both on its  merits and because enjoining it would transfer ownership of immigrant-related transgressions (think: MS-13) to the judges (and Dem plaintiffs)


What Trump should have done

Simply put, President Trump should have escalated the opioid crisis from its current status as a National Health Emergency to a full-blown National Emergency with, as part of the program, border walls that funnel the flow of drugs to security-strengthened ports-of-entry.

See Trump should declare OPIOIDS a National Emergency…

That action would have made his emergency declaration practically bullet-proof.

Who would oppose strong action to attack the opioids’ crisis?

Geez, I wish Trump would read the HomaFiles every morning instead of watching Fox & Friends.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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2 Responses to “What you need to know about the border wall bruhaha…”

  1. Mike Says:

    Serious questions: first, were previous national emergencies enacted as an end around to the congressional funding process? That, and the scale of dollars in play, seem to set this apart?Is that an incorrect evaluation of the root issue here?

    Second, what will KH think when the next D pres declares an emergency on climate change?

  2. ST Says:

    Thank you, Mike, for asking a really good question. For me, it’s not about the border wall – – it is not immoral to protect your borders – – but about the authority that the executive branch can usurp from this.

    The Constitution is very clear about the separation of powers and this end-round gives far too much authority to the president, which can provide near dictatorial determinations about things he or she determine to be “national emergencies.” Climate change and Second Amendment rights would be prime targets for someone on the Left to declare an emergency. I don’t disagree with the potential cost – our government needs the authority to tackle emergencies – but the scale and resources this provides for something that is not truly a national emergency, but instead a campaign promise fulfilled and pandering to his base, should be blatant to everyone looking at it.

    I hope the Courts see, understand, and rule against this and that the Legislative Branch realize that they continue and repeatedly give their power and authority away and do something to protect it.

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