American Catholic Bishops Go To The US-Mexican Border And Denounce Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency

By Theodore Shoebat

American Catholic bishops went to the US-Mexican border and denounced Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency,” as we read in a report from Crux:

Catholic bishops near the U.S.-Mexico border, joined by other U.S. prelates, voiced opposition immediately after President Donald Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration of a national emergency so he can order construction of a barrier along parts of the border between the two countries.

“In our view, a border wall is first and foremost a symbol of division and animosity between two friendly countries,” the bishops said.

“Furthermore, the wall would be an ineffective use of resources at a time of financial austerity,” they said. “It would also destroy parts of the environment, disrupt the livelihoods of ranchers and farmers, weaken cooperation and commerce between border communities, and, at least in one instance, undermine the right to the freedom of worship.”

Speaking at news conference in the Rose Garden, Trump said he was going to sign a national emergency declaration to stave off a flow of drugs, human trafficking, gang members and illegal immigration coming across the southern border.

The president later signed a spending bill that provides $1.375 billion for fencing and other measures along the border – a fraction of the $5.7 billion he had been asking from Congress for construction of a barrier. Declaring the national emergency could grant him up to $8 billion for his project.

The promise of a wall on the southern border was key to his presidential campaign, but as a candidate he said neighboring Mexico, not the U.S., would pay for the structure. When Mexico refused to pay for the wall, he turned to U.S. lawmakers for funding, but they have largely refused to grant U.S. taxpayer money to build it, which led to a partial government shutdown earlier this year.

In a separate bishops’ statement following Trump’s announcement, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, said they were “deeply concerned about the president’s action to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which circumvents the clear intent of Congress to limit funding of a wall.”

“We oppose the use of these funds to further the construction of the wall,” Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Vasquez said. “We remain steadfast and resolute in the vision articulated by Pope Francis that at this time we need to be building bridges and not walls.”

In their statement, the border bishops and the other prelates who joined them said that while they agree with the president that there is a “humanitarian challenge” at the border, “erecting a wall will not solve the problem,” they said, and they asked Congress to step in with more humanitarian responses.

There is no national emergency. A recent study from the Center for Migration Studies gives us a different picture from what the immigration obsessed politicians want to us to see. The Center for Migration Studies got its information from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey (ACS). For example, in 2016 — the year of the peak of Trump’s campaign and his eventual victory, hundreds of thousands of undocumented people left the United States:

While the president has focused the nation’s attention on the border wall, half a million US undocumented residents from Mexico left the undocumented population in 2016 alone, more than three times the number that arrived that year, leading to an overall decrease of nearly 400,000 undocumented residents from Mexico from 2016 to 2017.

So if so many have left in 2016 and 2017, then how could there be a national emergency over immigration?

The study also says:

 “The total undocumented population declined by about 1 million from 2010 to 2017”

The same study also notes:

In 2017, for the first time, the population from Mexico constituted less than one half of the total undocumented population.

And before you start attributing this to Trump, this decline has been going on since 2010:

Since 2010, the undocumented population from Mexico has declined by 1.3 million.

If you do indeed wish to attribute this to Trump, fine. But, then, you will have to acknowledge the major decline of the undocumented population and, in turn, concede that there is no “national emergency” of ‘illegals flooding our country’ as the trope usually yammers. The same study talks about a substantial drop in the undocumented population in California, Alabama, New Mexico, Georgia and New York:

In California, the undocumented population from Mexico has declined by 26 percent since 2010, falling from 2.0 to 1.5 million; it also dropped by 50 percent in Alabama, and by one third in Georgia, New York, and New Mexico.

The report makes an interesting observation about immigrants from Venezuela:

The undocumented population from Venezuela grew rapidly after 2013, increasing from 60,000 to 145,000 in just four years.

If the US does regime change in Venezuela, expect this number to increase even more, The study also relates how people overstaying their visas are more in number than people crossing the border illegally:

Visa overstays have significantly exceeded illegal border crossings during each of the last seven years.

Also, the study goes contrary to the typical statement of ‘illegals from the Middle East and Africa are flooding our country,’ when it affirms that the undocumented population from countries other than Mexico only increased by about 250,000 from 2010 to 2017:

The undocumented population from the rest of the world (not Mexico) increased by about 250,000 from 2010 to 2017.

If there was such a surge of migrants from the Middle East, Africa or Asia, then why has the undocumented from countries other than Mexican only increased by 250,000 from 2010 to 2017? Many of these people have come from India or Venezuela, the report finds that in 2017 this increase of the undocumented was 100,000 people from India and 45,000 from Venezuela. This is why in 2017 the undocumented from Mexico were coming in less than people from these two countries. The study goes on to say:

The population from India increased by 265,000, or 72 percent, from 2010 to 2017. The population from Venezuela more than doubled, from 65,000 in 2010 to 145,000 in 2017, with all of the growth occurring from 2014 to 2017. Countries with the largest population declines during this period (in addition to Mexico) were: Philippines (-70,000), Ecuador (-45,000), and Korea (-40,000)

Arriving by air and overstaying temporary visas has been the primary way of entering the US undocumented population over the entire seven-year period covered by this report. Table 3 shows estimates of undocumented arrivals in 2016 by country of origin and mode of entry for the top five countries of origin. Of the estimated 515,000 arrivals in 2016, a total of 320,000, or 62 percent, were overstays and 190,000, or 38 percent, were EWIs.

The estimates are based on CMS estimates of undocumented arrivals by year of entry for 2016 and 2017 by country of origin, and US Department of Homeland Security estimates of overstays for Mexico, Central American countries, and the Dominican Republic in 2017.

Mexico was the leading country for overstays in 2016, about twice the number from India, China, and Venezuela (Table 3). Overstays accounted for approximately one third of all undocumented arrivals from Mexico in 2016.

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