By Theodore Shoebat
Texas senators and representatives have declared that Trump’s “national emergency” declaration has no basis. As we read in a report from the Texas Tribune:
Texas’ U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, have not been as enthusiastic. Cornyn has expressed deep reservations, and Cruz has asserted there are ways for the Trump administration to do it under the law, but officials need to be careful to not create a “slippery slope” for a future president to abuse his or her power.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, who represents more border land than any other Texan, continued to oppose the idea.
“I’ve made it very clear, I don’t think there’s a need to declare a national emergency,” he said. “Now, it’s within his powers to do that. However the question could be, where does he find the money to do this?”
“If it’s going to be [the Department of Defense], what do we cut? We just got done spending the last four years rebuilding the military.”
Texas Democrats have been steadfast in their opposition.
“This whole thing is a travesty,” said U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, a Brownsville Democrat who represents part of the border. He expressed concerns that funds for Army Corps of Engineers projects could be diverted to a wall and said he was in the process of filing legislation on eminent domain, which will need to be used to build the barrier.
U.S. Rep Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, called the president’s reported plan “juvenile,” saying such a declaration would create a host of legal issues and strain the relationship between the United States and Mexico, Texas’ largest trading partner.
“Seizing lands across the southwest border for President Trump’s border wall would encroach on private property rights, lead to economic and agricultural losses, inflame U.S.-Mexico relations, infringe on the property rights of Native Americans, endanger public lands and wildlife, create flood hazards and fail to deter illegal immigration,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “President Trump is moving into uncharted territory with his emergency powers utilization, which I am sure will not be met with open arms.”
César Blanco, a Democratic state representative who represents part of El Paso — where Trump held a rally Monday and repeated his arguments for the wall — called the planned declaration “dangerous and radical” and questioned why Trump couldn’t get funding for the wall during the two years when Republicans controlled Congress.
“This declaration is a dangerous step into dark territory for a president that acts on his worst political impulses,” he said. “He has trampled on the rule of law and disregarded accepted facts, even from military generals, the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community. This declaration is purely political.
“There is no national security crisis on the border,” Blanco added. “The only crisis we have is a humanitarian crisis.”
In the Rio Grande Valley, where most of the new border barrier would be constructed, Nayda Alvarez worries that it would cut through her backyard and onto the nearby eight-acre plot that’s been in her family for hundreds of years.
The 47-year-old speech teacher said she’s already received letters from the government wanting to survey her land in Starr County; she’s denied them entry. Alvarez still doesn’t know if the fence will materialize but said Thursday that she was frustrated by the news that Trump plans to declare an emergency to build the barrier.
“I hope it’s an eye-opener for everybody to realize he’s not in his full state of mind,” Alvarez said.
Yvette Gaytan, Alvarez’s longtime friend and next-door neighbor, said she also wants to know what will happen to her family’s land, which features their favorite fishing spot by the river.
“I don’t know if I’m more in shock, or it’s kind of this sense of doom,” Gaytan said. “It’s happening.”