OPINION: National Emergency

On Feb. 15, President Donald Trump revealed in a speech that he would declare a national emergency to combat the “invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country” from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump’s plan is to appropriate waround $7 billion to build his farcical monument to racism and idiocy. This is in addition to $1.38 billion that Congress already authorized for fencing. The $8 billion Trump is attempting to requisition is much higher than the $5.7 billion he threw a tantrum over when shutting down the government for 35 days.

“I could’ve done the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said. “I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.”

Trump plans to gather this $7 billion by pulling $3.6 billion from military construction projects, $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs and $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund.

Let that sink in. Trump’s brilliant plan to stem the flow of drugs into the U.S. is defunding various counternarcotics programs, an idea that seems counterintuitive, but since Trump is a “very stable genius,” there can’t be any flaws in his plan.

The use of 12th-century military technology to combat undocumented immigration, which is at its lowest point in 10 years, seems perfectly rational especially when The Center for Migration Studies found in 2014 that two-thirds of all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. were overstayers who came over legally.

For Trump to declare a national emergency at the border, the amount of undocumented immigration must be directly proportional to increased crime rates. Why else would he call it an “invasion of drugs and criminals?”

But, that’s not actually the case. A 2017 study examined all of the immigration-crime related research from 1994-2014 and found there was a “null or nonsignificant association” between immigration and crime.

In 2017 the Department of Homeland Security reported that arrests for illegal border crossings were down 25 percent from 2016 and were at a 46-year low.

What a national emergency indeed that Kentucky Sen. and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell so handily announced it the same day a long-term spending bill was announced to keep the government open. This bill did not include money for the wall.

The timing is also rather suspect. Trump has talked about building this wall since his campaign. For two years he held a Republican majority in Congress and yet could not build the wall.

If the situation was so dire, he should’ve declared a national emergency some time in the last two years. His timing seems suspect especially now that the nation is in the second month of the Democrats controlling the House, something that effectively blocks Republican legislation until at least 2020.

Make no mistake, this is a tyrannical abuse of power that wouldn’t be out of place in a fascist dictatorship.

We should not tolerate the Trump administration’s blatant disrespect for the rule of law and complete disregard for the will of Congress in any way.

It’s acts like this that shake the foundation of the U.S. government and make a very clear and pressing point for impeaching Trump.

It’s obscene and shameful that the country has gotten to this point and that our duly sworn representatives haven’t attempted to remove him from power yet.

As ridiculous as the wall is, it’s a representation of how much damage Trump is willing to do to the U.S. to get his way.