The vanguard Central American migration horde of approximately 7000 aliens is determined to continue their march through Mexico towards the southern border between Mexico and the United States, with the intention of entering the U.S. by any means necessary. A second group of around 1000 has now formed, already reaching Guatemala from Honduras. President Trump has properly called the impending invasion a “national emergency.” Members of the larger first horde previously attacked Mexican riot police, who initially tried to stop them at the Guatemalan border with Mexico. Acting more like a mob than the peaceful “caravan” they fashion themselves to be, thousands managed to break through or take evasive action to end run the barrier set up by the Mexican police at that border. They refused offers by Mexican government officials to process asylum claims on an orderly individualized basis. Mexican authorities have now apparently given up. The horde is freely proceeding through Mexico on its way to the United States. It constitutes an invasion force of unvetted aliens, who are relying on their sheer numbers, propaganda images of crying babies and children they use as shields and props in league with a sympathetic liberal media, and craven politicians, to breach U.S. territorial sovereignty. Working for them are incredibly lax, loophole ridden immigration laws in the United States, which many of the aliens will try to exploit to claim “asylum” status and overwhelm the system handling such claims.
We are indeed facing a national emergency. In addition to the sheer numbers of aliens seeking entry into the United States at the same time, who are likely to overwhelm a system already stretched to the limit, we will have no way of knowing who amongst the throngs are terrorists or gang members before they are released into U.S. communities at large. This is not idle speculation. Last week, for example, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales told the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre that “we have apprehended close to 100 persons completely involved with terrorists, with ISIS and we have not only detained them within our territory, but they have been deported to their country of origin.” Hezbollah has maintained a long-established presence in parts of Latin America. What is to prevent other ISIS, al Qaeda or Hezbollah terrorists remaining undetected in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, or Mexico from joining any migration procession north to infiltrate the United States? Absolutely nothing.
Less than two weeks prior to the midterm elections, Democrat leaders in Congress and Democrat candidates are displaying cowardice by mostly remaining silent. They want to bury the immigration issue as much as possible to hold down Republican turnout. Perhaps they are waiting to see whether there will be a confrontation at the southern border with disturbing emotional images that they can exploit to their political advantage by portraying the president and his supporters as heartless fiends. The Trump administration must be careful not to fall into the open border advocates’ trap. However, it is time to follow Rahm Emanuel’s advice and “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution empowers the president to convene both houses of Congress “on extraordinary Occasions.” We are facing such an extraordinary occasion. President Trump should consider convening Congress immediately – before the midterm elections – to vote on emergency legislation addressed at handling the current alien hordes and preventing future ones from entering the United States without proper legal authority. The legislation should include full funding for building a complete concrete border wall. It should include an immediate end to catch-and-release of aliens claiming asylum by allowing detention of intact families, including children, so long as necessary to complete their asylum hearings. It should allow for immediate deportation of aliens caught entering the country illegally. The emergency legislation should tighten the eligibility requirements for legitimate refugee status by unequivocally stating that poverty or generalized fears of crime, gang violence or domestic violence would not qualify. Moreover, the law should be clarified that any would-be asylum seeker will not qualify for refugee status in the United States for any reason if he or she failed to take advantage of the opportunity to seek such refugee status within any country through which he or she passed through on the way to the United States. Other longer-term issues such as doing away with chain migration or visa lotteries should be deferred to keep the emergency legislation as stream-lined as possible.
There is precedent for President Trump to convene a special session of Congress. In fact, it has been done on 27 occasions, most recently by President Harry Truman in 1948. President Truman did it for blatantly political reasons to prod the Republican-controlled Congress into either passing civil rights, social security and health insurance legislation or to suffer the political consequences of inaction. The Assistant Solicitor General wrote a memorandum at the time concluding, with respect to the precise nature of Congress’s recess or adjournment, that it did not matter as far as the president’s power to convene a special session is concerned. All that matters, he wrote, was “that the Congress is not in session and that an extraordinary occasion has arisen which requires that it be in session and that it convene, therefore, at a date earlier than it otherwise would.” He added, “It is beyond question that the two houses of the Congress do not have the power, even by statute, to defeat the constitutional power of the President, under Article II, Section 3, to convene the Congress on such an occasion.” The Republicans did not take any votes on the issues raised by President Truman during the special session, which President Truman used to his advantage in winning the 1948 presidential election.
President Trump has a true crisis on his hands, which more than justifies convening a special session of Congress immediately. If Democrats balk or choose to block through a filibuster the immigration reform proposals outlined above to address the alien migration invasion crisis, they should pay a steep political price.