No national emergency

Lack of southern border wall is not an emergency situation

Mel Acosta, Opinion Editor

At the start of the new year, the United States had 31 real ongoing national emergencies and is now nearly one month into a partial shutdown in the federal government over a multi-billion dollar, xenophobically driven, wall on the U.S-Mexico border.

Trump may attempt to pull in funds for his wall announcing a national emergency, effectively taking money away from other true national emergencies.

“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. I haven’t done it yet. I may do it. If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely,” Trump said, according to CNN.

He is demanding almost $6 billion for his wall, but the House Democrats are refusing.
The National Emergencies Act of 1974 gives the President more power during a “crisis.” While Congress has the ability to overturn a state of emergency proclamation, it is unlikely they’ll obtain a majority rule with the Republican-dominated Senate.

Jimmy Carter was the first resort to the National Emergencies Act, in 1979, against Iran. This was similar to the blocking order that was ordered by Trump, in 2018, towards Nicaragua. These declarations followed a strict guideline of impeding the property or transactions of groups or individuals who showcased potential harmful behaviors to the U.S, including funding terrorism, impinging human rights, and threatening the government.

Trump’s most recent scheme lands nowhere near the qualification of an actual state of emergency.

His continued threats of imposing the National Emergencies Act to fund his wall are direct infringements of the rule that “politicians must utilize their institutional power carefully,” according to Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky’s writing in “How Democracies Die.”

In comparison to Carter’s Iran or Bill Clinton’s narco-traffickers, or George W. Bush’s post 9/11, Trump’s wall isn’t even near an emergency.

In fact, his idea of declaring an emergency falls more along that of dictators or gangster-run governments, where the goals lie in undermining opponents, suppressing human rights, demolishing democracy, and further reinforcing their rule.

Trump can continue to spread his threats and use the National Emergencies Act as leverage, but Democrats will continue to turn down his prejudice agenda. We are a country of mixed culture and people. As much as Trump dislikes this factor and fights against it, people will continue to fight against his oppressive statements and behaviors.