Commentary: By Declaring a National Emergency, President Trump Could Use Defense Department Funding to Build the Border Wall Now

by Harlan Hill

President Trump has given the Democrats every reason to compromise with him on ending the partial government shutdown, yet they still cling grimly to their obstructionist tactics.

Congressional Democrats have maintained that a border wall would be both “ineffective” and “immoral,” yet insist that they support the broader goal of border security. Every part of that argument has now been exposed as a lie.

Immigration enforcement officials have repeatedly stated that they believe a wall is crucial to achieving real border security, but Democrats have not been willing to listen, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even reportedly telling Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that “I reject your facts” during a recent briefing.

As the shutdown enters its third week, with Democrats still refusing to provide the necessary funding for border security, the President is further demonstrating his willingness to come to a reasonable compromise while making it clear that we must have proper border security. Since the left has refused to listen to the experts who say that a wall would be the single most effective element of a comprehensive border security strategy, he’s now appealing to liberals’ sense of morality.

Over the weekend, the White House unveiled a new proposal that would couple the $5.7 billion the President has requested for wall funding with an additional $800 million to address “urgent humanitarian needs” at the southern border, including the flood of unaccompanied minors trying to enter the country illegally.

Although Democrats have made the humanitarian issue a main element of their talking points during the current impasse, they’ve said they’re not even willing to consider the President’s latest overture, asserting that they won’t accept any deal to end the shutdown that includes any funding for a border wall.

President Trump has tried repeatedly to negotiate with the Democrats in good faith, but they’ve responded to his every attempt by merely digging their heels in deeper.

In so doing, they’ve shown that their original objections to the wall were never intended as a serious basis for negotiations, and that their repeated expressions of support for border security are nothing but hot air.

Faced with such devious intransigence from congressional Democrats, President Trump has been forced to mull the possibility of using his executive powers to do what Congress won’t do: secure the border. By declaring a national emergency, the President could use Defense Department funding to construct the wall without explicit congressional approval.

This approach would of course be a last resort, but it may well be necessary if Democrats don’t take steps to prove that they’re serious about securing America’s borders. President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s willing to address their purported concerns about the border wall, and each time the Democrats have shown that those concerns were nothing more than political posturing.

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Harlan Hill is a political advisor, media commentator, and an advisory board member of the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.





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