The Donald kept his promise. Or followed through on this threat. Whichever one prefers, the president declared a national emergency and will use $8 billion drawn from myriad government accounts to build the border wall for which open-borders leftists in Congress have refused the money. Trump gave the Democrats what they wanted : He signed a massive spending bill to keep the government open.
But he was also determined to get what he wanted and what he promised the American people: a border wall.
The question is whether federal courts, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court, will permit leftist lawfare to keep the borders open — which is what the Democrats want in order to continue flooding the country with future Democratic voters.
$8 Billion From Where?
“I’m going to be signing a national emergency, and it’s been signed many times before, by many presidents,” he said during a news conference in the Rose Garden. “It’s rarely been a problem … nobody cared.” Trump, who signed the declaration early the morning of Friday February 5th, 2019, said the situation at the border is an emergency because of the flow of drugs and criminals. Sex trafficking and chain migration are also urgent matters that must be addressed, he said. He also asked two women to stand and show pictures of family members killed by illegal aliens.
Before the announcement, the Washington Post reported, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters that declaring an emergency gives Trump “access to roughly $8 billion worth of money that can be used to secure the southern border.” Congress, he said, “is simply incapable of providing the amount of money necessary in the president’s eyes to address the current situation at the border.”
Trump wants to build 234 miles of wall. The spending bill Trump will sign appropriates $1.375 billion for border security, but Trump, the Post reported, will “draw money from a mixture of drug forfeiture funds, military projects and other accounts, according to government officials briefed on the strategy, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a plan that has not been announced publicly.”
As well, Trump will likely seek “$600 million from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund and $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program, according to the officials.”
The forfeiture money, the newspaper reported, will come from the U.S. Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Criminal Investigations bureau of the Internal Revenue Service.
By law, the money can be used to promote “the use of proceeds from asset forfeitures to fund programs and activities aimed at disrupting criminal enterprises and enhancing forfeiture capabilities.”
The president will also draw $3.6 billion from military construction appropriations.
Doing that required the declaration of a national emergency, the Post reported.
As with its lawsuits to stop the president’s change in how the U.S. government treats asylum claims, a move the U.S. Supreme Court backed, the radical Left has likely been prepared for weeks to file lawsuits to stop today’s declaration. It will file them, the Post reported, in multiple jurisdictions:
They will file suit in numerous jurisdictions — certainly within the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on the West Coast, in U.S. District Court in Washington and maybe even in New York. That’s been the pattern in the hundreds of lawsuits, many of them successful, brought against the Trump administration, the idea being that some judge somewhere will block the wall.
The question, then, will be left up to the courts, which generally grant the president wide discretion on political matters. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s misnamed “Muslim ban,” the radical Left’s term for the president’s temporary restrictions on travel from a number of Islamic countries.
As the Post observed, prevailing in court would mean the plaintiffs — which could include congressional Democrats — must prove that Trump trespassed Congress’ constitutional prerogatives vis-à-vis spending and appropriations.
A few weeks ago, as The New American reported, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concluded that the president could build the wall even if he did not declare an emergency.
“Sadly,” Trump said, he expected to be sued. But “happily,” he expects to win.
Such is the radical Left’s opposition to border security that failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has even declared that he would, if elected president, tear down existing barriers.