Editorial: Trump’s emergency highlights battle lines
On Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency to go about spending $8 billion on barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
This brings to an end the stare-down between the White House and Congress over budgeting.
It likely begins a new battle over who has the power to do what. The executive office where Trump sits does not, constitutionally speaking, have the ability to decide where the money comes from and where it goes. The national checkbook sits in Congress’ desk.
And it all goes back to the emergency of illegal immigration. Trump’s own administration’s numbers have shown illegal immigration to be at an 11-year low overall, and down dramatically on the southern border from a peak in 2000, but the proposed wall has been a set-in-stone promise since his campaign.
Meanwhile, Democrats focus on the humanitarian issues of refugees and seem to dismiss the very real human costs of drugs that come across the border and the fact that, while statistics do show undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born Americans, there are still criminal acts that impact people’s lives.
Maybe just once the two sides could acknowledge that everyone is a little right and a little wrong and trying to personally come out on top is making everything worse.
Most Democrats will go to their graves without admitting that Trump is right about anything, ever. That just makes it easier for half the country to not listen, deepening the already canyon-deep chasm between red and blue.
Most Republicans, for their part, will dismiss the data in favor of the anecdote. That makes it simple for Democrats to paint them as ignoring the facts to get to the goal.
It has been often repeated that a country without a secure border is no country at all.
But how much of a country will we have if we keep attacking each other inside the borders?