Building a solid and complete border wall on the south side of the country has been President Donald Trump’s trademark campaign promise. Within the past few months, discussion on finally building the wall has increased with vigor.
As such, the issue of finding funding for the project has rooted itself within the legislative chambers of Capitol Hill. After many budget proposals were set forward, the one that was finally approved by Congress allocated $1.3 billion in funding for the wall.
President Trump was dissatisfied with this number but in the end conceded due to the threat of having another lengthy government shutdown and unlikely prospects for his request of $5.7 billion for construction of the wall. Instead, President Trump has decided to declare a national emergency to secure $8 billion in order to build about 234 miles of wall to hinder immigrants from coming into the country illegally.
The problem that has arisen from the president declaring a national emergency is that the situation is not a clear national emergency that requires immediate and drastic action to be taken.
Many, though primarily Democrats, believe the border issue is dramatized and while drugs and crime do seep in from our unsecured southern border, a multi-billion dollar border wall is not the be-all and end-all.
Some Republicans, such as Marco Rubio, echo another idea that undercuts Trump’s proclamation: a border wall is necessary, but the road to securing one is not optimally achieved by declaring a national emergency.
Those who support this concept argue that allowing Trump to achieve a goal by circumventing the legislative branch, the branch that represents the people’s interests, could set a dangerous precedent. The concern here is that a president in the future would be allowed to make major reforms, like a ban on all guns, just by declaring it a national emergency—despite what Congress has to say.
Proponents of Trump’s declaration contend that the issue at the border is indeed worthy of being labeled a national emergency. In fact, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency recorded that there were almost 400,000 apprehensions at the southern border in 2018 alone.
A strong, physical border wall is a necessary component of a strong country; however, finding the correct process in securing that barrier is equally important.