United States Gifted With 33rd National Emergency By President Who Says It's Not Really An Emergency

from the nation-forced-to-hold-breath-until-president-given-what-he-wants dept

President Trump has declared a national emergency.

This is a thing presidents can do. And they've been doing it since 1979 when President Carter responded to a hostage situation in Iran by declaring a national emergency. We've spent four decades in perpetual emergency mode. With Trump's announcement, this makes American subject to 33 concurrent national emergencies, all of which grant the president a bunch of extra (and surprising!) powers, and encourage the government to start clawing back rights and privileges from the American people.

The declaration on the White House website is at least mostly coherent. It says there's a national security/humanitarian crisis at the southern border because, um, immigrants are still trying to migrate to the United States.

The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch's exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. In particular, recent years have seen sharp increases in the number of family units entering and seeking entry to the United States and an inability to provide detention space for many of these aliens while their removal proceedings are pending. If not detained, such aliens are often released into the country and are often difficult to remove from the United States because they fail to appear for hearings, do not comply with orders of removal, or are otherwise difficult to locate.

This statement may be coherent, but it's also mostly untrue. Southern border apprehensions are down to a quarter of the peak they reached in 2000. There have been increases in recent years of families seeking entry, but how that translates to a national security emergency is anyone's guess. The claim that immigrants blow off hearings is completely false. The DOJ's own data shows that 60-75% of non-detained immigrants show up for court appearances.

The other fudged claim -- somewhat muddied in the White House statement but somehow made more clear during the President's rambling press conference -- is the assertion that a porous border without The Wall/Fence is allowing drugs and trafficked humans to come pouring into the United States. The DEA has repeatedly stated that most drugs make their way into the US through legal points of entry. Why? Because it's way more efficient to move drugs with large vehicles, rather than a handful of mules walking through unguarded areas.

President Trump completely undercut his own national emergency declaration during his Rose Garden press conference. Trump said he didn't actually need to declare an emergency to secure border wall funds, but thought this would be faster than the usual appropriations process.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

We are subject to a national emergency that isn't an emergency, based on assumptions made by a president who refuses to listen to the government agencies he's involving in his manufactured crisis. On top of that, this is only the second declared national emergency that actively involves the military. This should be of great concern to all Americans, including Trump supporters, as it involves the siphoning of resources usually deployed elsewhere in the world and directs them towards a domestic crisis that isn't actually a crisis.

The only other national emergency to involve the US military was the one George W. Bush issued three days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. We've all witnessed the explosive expansion of government power flowing from this declaration and other Congressional responses to the terrorist attacks. Here we are with no attacks, living in an era of unprecedented safety, and the president of the country has just invoked expansive powers to deal with an immigration influx that has been trending downward for nearly two decades.

Filed Under: donald trump, executive power, fence, immigration, military, moral panic, national emergency, wall


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 Feb 2019 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me- oh hell, I lost co

    " I kinda admire Trump for sticking to his guns and forcing this issue"

    I can understand that generally - but this issue?

    "But in this day and age when campaign promises are quickly discarded or forgotten once the election is over, it is nice to see someone actually trying to carry one through."

    The thing is, he HAS discarded his promise, which was to build a wall AND have Mexico pay for it. Security without additional burden on the US taxpayer. Now, he's promising less (the "wall" appears to be more like a fence, it's not a big as originally promised, etc.").

    He's not sticking with his guns, he's making you a worse offer that he's hoping you will accept without personal cost to him.

    "But it's Trump's fault the government shut down?"

    Yes. He could have accepted the original deal he was offered and come out with more than he's accepted now. He actually got less than he was offered to not shut down.

    "I think our country is worth protecting."

    ...and if the wall would have done a damned thing to do that, you'd be right to criticise people for not funding it. The problem is, it won't be effective at what he's promising. There are a great many ways to protect your country that don't involve a monument to stupidity, and which will cost less in the long term.

    Put it this way - if you hire a company to renovate your house because he offers you a free premium security upgrade, and then turns around and says actually you're getting the standard security package and it'll cost you an extra $20k over his original quote, are you going to laud him for sticking to his guns or throw him to the kerb like the thieving con artist he is? If the latter, why would you accept the same behaviour from your president?


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