As outrage spread over the latest American to be murdered by an illegal alien, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to overturn President Trump’s commonsense emergency declaration to free up federal funds to build a wall that may have kept that murderer back in Mexico.
By a vote of 59 to 41, the Republican-dominated Senate approved a resolution disapproving of Trump’s emergency declaration as 12 GOP senators joined Democrats in what amounts to an official scolding of the president. On Feb. 26 the Democrat-controlled House approved the disapproval resolution introduced by leftist Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on a vote of 245 to 182.
Trump has promised to veto the resolution when it arrives on his desk and it seems unlikely that opponents will be able to gather the two-thirds supermajority in both chambers of Congress needed to overturn the veto.
After the Senate vote, Trump tweeted, “VETO!” followed by “I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!”
President Donald Trump invoked the National Emergencies Act of 1976 on Feb. 15 as Congress gave final approval to the $333 billion omnibus spending bill that funds the U.S. government through the federal fiscal year-end of Sept. 30. The fiscal measure provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border barriers in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, well below the $5.7 billion Trump and the $25 billion he originally said was needed. The emergency declaration moves around $6.7 billion in funding that was previously appropriated for other projects. In his new budgetary blueprint provided to Congress days ago, the president is seeking another $8.6 billion to build the border wall.
Those Republicans who bucked the president generally offered an unconvincing excuse why they did so. They claimed that it was unconstitutional for Trump to redirect existing funds appropriated by Congress for the wall because lawmakers turned down most of the wall funding he requested.
But this specious argument ignores the existence of the National Emergencies Act, a statute frequently invoked by presidents ever since it was enacted. In federal law, statutes are presumed to be constitutional and no one appears to have challenged this act before Trump became president. Contrary to the defectors’ lame line of thinking, Trump didn’t go against the will of Congress – in fact, he acted in accordance with the express will of Congress which, when Gerald Ford was in the White House, gave presidents the power to declare emergencies within certain parameters. If lawmakers are uncomfortable with the president possessing the power to move appropriated monies around, they should repeal the law that Congress passed instead of hiding behind dishonest, dumb reasoning.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said he was voting for the resolution despite wanting the wall to be built. “To make clear, a border fence, a border barrier is a policy that I support, wholeheartedly, unequivocally.”
Declaring a national emergency to use funds already appropriated “sets a dangerous, new precedent,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said on the Senate floor.
“No president has ever used what’s called the National Emergencies Act in this way. As a result, it opens the door for future presidents to implement just about any policy they want and to take funding from other areas Congress has already decided on without Congress’ approval.”
Except that Democrat presidents already act recklessly without regard to the Constitution and the rule of law, even without the National Emergencies Act. President Obama informally amended the Obamacare statute multiple times to suit his purposes, ignoring the language of the law or inventing passages that didn’t exist. Obama created the blatantly unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy with the stroke of a pen after admitting no president could create such a program by executive fiat.
In other words, that ship sailed long ago.
Apart from Lee and Portman, the other misguided Republicans voting to disapprove the emergency declaration were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Susan Collins of Maine, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
The same day the Senate was voting, nationally syndicated radio host Dana Loesch denounced sanctuary policies after illegal alien and gang member Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, was arrested this week in the brutal stabbing death of San Jose, California resident Bambi Larson, 59, whose dead body was discovered in her home Feb. 28. Carranza’s criminal record included battery of an officer, burglary, and methamphetamine possession. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued nine detainer requests asking jailers to hold him so ICE could investigate his immigration status before he was let loose on society.
Carranza was first arrested in the U.S. in 2013 for unlawfully sneaking into Texas. He was deported to Mexico. He was subsequently arrested 10 times and convicted of various offenses, including drug possession, battery, false imprisonment, and burglary. At the time of his arrest, Carranza was on probation.
“Why are sanctuary city advocates making excuses for thugs like these?” she said on “Fox and Friends.”
“Innocent people are paying in blood for the sanctuary city policies that Democrats – including all of the 2020 Democrat presidential primary contenders— are supporting.”
California’s unprecedented sanctuary laws keep Carranza on the streets committing crimes. Those laws obstruct federal immigration laws by shielding its 2.4 million illegal aliens from ICE. Federal prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges against elected officials harboring illegal aliens in sanctuary jurisdictions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee a year ago.
The sanctuary movement gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans by, among other things, stigmatizing immigration enforcement and characterizing it as somehow racist. Some left-wingers use the dreadful euphemism “civil liberties safe zones” to describe sanctuary jurisdictions. The phrase deliberately blurs the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.
The Trump administration is suing California over its “sanctuary state” laws that punish compliance with federal immigration laws and provide legal cover for corrupt officials to continue brazenly flouting immigration laws and interfering with federal agents trying to enforce them.
The federal lawsuit targets three statutes curbing the power of California’s state and local law enforcement to hold, question, and transfer detainees at the request of immigration authorities, and punish employers for cooperating with those authorities. The laws also impose draconian restrictions on communication between local police and federal immigration enforcement, including information regarding when criminal aliens are scheduled to be released from local jails.
And if the congressional disapproval of President Trump’s long overdue emergency declaration is sustained, plenty more illegal aliens will invade our country and seek sanctuary in California and other lawless Democrat strongholds.