01.08.2019 0

President Trump is not backing down as he ups border ante in prime-time speech

By Rick Manning

The nation’s borders are both a national security and a humanitarian crisis and President Donald Trump is not backing down on his demand that the southern border be secured.  Tonight, the President will make that clear and those Democrats who are demanding that the partial government shutdown end before they negotiate wall funding will be rejected.

In a West Wing briefing provided to a small group of media and on-air pundits, including myself, Vice President Mike Pence, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought, Jared Kushner and the President himself, made a clear and convincing case that the national security and humanitarian emergency at the southern border are real and need to be addressed immediately.

It is expected that the humanitarian crisis will be addressed through a funding request for $800 million to help those illegal immigrants who are in medical distress, expand additional temporary facilities for those who are taken into custody as well as provide an additional $4.2 billion to support an additional 52,000 detention beds to meet the needs of the current surge of illegal immigrants. A surge exacerbated by U.S. immigration laws which encourage economically driven people to put children at risk trekking across hundreds of miles of forbidding desert as those children represent the golden ticket to staying in America.

And let’s be clear, it is an economic migration. Of those who claim asylum and get in line for a judicial hearing, it takes nearly four years to work through the 800,000 cases ahead of them. When the time comes for their day in court, only 20 percent show up for their hearings and only 10 percent of those have their claims found to be valid.  Simple math shows that of the above mentioned 800,000 currently in line, only 16,000 would have their asylum request granted, 144,000 would be returned to their home country, and ICE would be searching for the remaining 640,000 who had blended into the woodwork of our society illegally.

To address this crisis in the legal system, the President will request at least $563 million for 75 additional immigration judges and staff to reduce the backlog of cases and will work with Congress to expand the processing of asylum claims in the claimants country.

These costs exist because our current immigration laws are broken and the border is a veritable sieve. As Jared Kushner pointed out in the meetings, securing the border drives down these costs as taxpayers will not have as many people rushing our border needing care.

While the focus has been on the appropriation of an additional $4.1 billion for the construction of a steel barrier on the Southwest border beyond the $1.6 billion appropriated earlier, the truth is that the failure to fully fund the building of a physical wall along the 234 miles which the Customs and Border Patrol’s Security Improvement Plan has identified as its top 10 priorities allows the current costly and deadly humanitarian disaster to continue.

But the border disaster is more than a deadly humanitarian concern, it is a national security emergency. With thousands of criminal aliens arrested at the border each year, blocking entry for gang members and drug cartel soldiers is imperative. More than 80 percent of fentanyl, an extremely deadly synthetic heroin-like opioid comes across our southern border.  Last year alone enough fentanyl was stopped that it could have killed the entire population of our country.  And that is just what was seized. More than 60,000 Americans died in 2018 from opioid abuse alone surpassing the entire death toll from the Vietnam War.

That’s why President Trump will also be urging Congress to fund an additional $782 million for 2,000 additional ICE personnel and 750 additional Border Patrol agents. Rather than abolish ICE at this time when our communities, urban, suburban or rural equally, are being scourged, more personnel is needed to combat gang violence and stop drug smugglers and human traffickers.

And to aid in their efforts, another $675 million is being requested to fund the acquisition of Non-Intrusive inspection technology for southern border ports of entry allowing enhanced capacity to find drugs, weapons and other materials which pose a threat to the United States.

The current government shutdown is not about campaign promises, it is about American security and broken immigration laws which are encouraging the exploitation of the most vulnerable. The President is proposing a comprehensive first step in meeting this crisis head on, and it is time for Democrats to grow up, come to the table and negotiate a solution which includes both the necessary steel barrier and other security funding along with the means to meet the current humanitarian crisis.

Some may ask why a limited government group would support these expenditures during this time of extreme deficits. The answer is simple. Protecting our nation’s security is one of the few prescribed functions of the federal government, and it is obvious that allowing the erasure of that border for immigration purposes effectively end the great American experiment in representative democracy. So, there is no choice but to support all measures necessary to defend our national sovereignty.

President Trump is completely committed to this duty, and is poised to do whatever is necessary under the law to secure our southern border. He will not be deterred in building a strong steel barrier along with the means to address the immediate crisis and the terrible toll it is taking.

The President has proposed major changes to the nation’s immigration system which would deal with the underlying problems which eventually Congress will need to focus upon, but this partial government shutdown will not end until Democrats get serious and provide the funds necessary to move forward with at least the wall. It might as well be now rather than later.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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