Opposing view: Secure border, get the government running
Every day that congressional Democrats keep the government shut down, they are perpetuating a perfectly solvable tragedy for political reasons.
President Donald Trump has told the American people, as he has repeatedly told Congress, what the country needs to end the legal and humanitarian crisis on our southern border:
❚ 234 miles of new barriers based on existing, proven designs, along with hundreds of new agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol.
❚ $4.2 billion to adequately house those who are caught illegally crossing, plus $800 million to improve medical services for these people who are often apprehended in dire straights in one of the world’s deadliest deserts.
❚ 75 new immigration judges to work through the years-long backlog of deportation cases.
❚ State-of-the-art information technology for our overtaxed ports of entry.
Despite Democrats’ assertions that they want to secure the border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it abundantly clear she would rather keep the government shut indefinitely than acquiesce to even the most commonsense requests from the president.
Instead of working to get the government running and the border secure, she prefers to score political points with her “Resistance” base by declaring that a border barrier would be “immoral” and — even more fancifully — “ineffective.”
As my colleagues and I laid out during a recent news conference at the White House with President Trump, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are completely wrong on this. We told the American people the same thing that virtually any immigration enforcement agent would tell them without hesitation: Walls and physical barriers are massively effective.
Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are content to let this partial government shutdown continue in hopes that it will damage President Trump’s political standing. Luckily, the president doesn’t have to play their game. He can declare a “State of Emergency” and use appropriated money to start constructing the border wall if Democrats continue to hold the federal government hostage.
President Trump has expressed a strong preference for using normal budget procedure, but he has also made it clear that he is prepared to do whatever it takes to secure the border.
Democrats know that President Trump has this emergency authority, but they insist on keeping the government partially paralyzed to frustrate his efforts to secure the border.
In reality, the president is making a sincere effort to address a genuine crisis, while his Democratic opponents are demonstrating real cruelty by insisting that we stick with strategies that have long proved ineffective.