Op­pos­ing view: Se­cure bor­der, get the gov­ern­ment run­ning

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Bran­don Judd Bran­don Judd is pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Bor­der Pa­trol Coun­cil, the ex­clu­sive la­bor rep­re­sen­ta­tive of ap­prox­i­mately 16,000 Bor­der Pa­trol agents.

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.

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