By editorial board • 

Power grab threatens our heritage

Donald Trump has never shown much interest in facts or truth — or any curbs on presidential power, as long as he’s wielding it. But he’s outdone himself in declaring a national border emergency — pretext for overriding $8 billion in congressional appropriations in order to wall off more of our 1,954-mile Mexican border.

Here are some items deserving reflection:

1) Since 2009, more people of Mexican heritage have been leaving than arriving, establishing a long-term trend of net out-migration. Illegal immigration from Mexico peaked in 2007, official assessments show.

2) Visitors overstaying their visas represent the largest source of illegal immigration, outnumbering clandestine border crossers 2-to-1. And even the staunchly conservative Cato Institute concedes immigrants account for less criminal activity than their American-born counterparts.

3) According to the DEA, more than 90 percent of illegal drugs arrive through urban ports of entry, not rural stretches of border. And smugglers engaged in one of the largest operations ever busted elsewhere dug tunnels under a towering border wall.

4) Walling off the border would require federal seizure of private Texas rangeland and cut off Texas ranchers’ from their access to the main source of water, the Rio Grande. Merely trying to enforce grazing regulations on leased lands recently triggered an armed takeover of a federal refuge here, suggesting this wouldn’t end well.

5) Our Constitution establishes three independently co-equal branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial. It grants the legislative branch sole authority to appropriate funds.

6) Trump himself said, in his official announcement: “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”

7) More than six out of 10 Americans oppose the declaration. Nearly that many say the president is misusing his power, there’s no actual emergency, making them less likely to support his re-election.

8) Sixteen states and a broad number of other parties are challenging the declaration as an abuse of power. That promises to tie it up for years.

9) Past declarations under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 have all been narrowly framed. They have typically been used in response to international incidents, starting with the U.S. embassy seizure in Tehran.

10) If the courts find a Republican president justified in declaring an unwalled border an emergency, what’s to prevent future Democratic presidents from issuing declarations on gun violence, voter suppression, climate change, hate crimes or abortion restrictions?

Candidate Trump promised to build a “big beautiful wall” and make Mexico pay for it. Utterly failing with the latter, President Trump is now relying on bluff and bluster in a desperate attempt to deliver on the former.

But he’s imperiling our democracy in the process. The Constitution demands we stand firm.



Well stated. Trump is a master at scrambling the news cycle. Next week the Russia report may come out. The Senate will vote on the Emergency Resolution, Trump will veto. The Russia report will be somewhere down cycle. You have to hand it to the guy he is pretty good at keeping things out of focus. Unfortunately, it is terrible for out County. For me Congress is the problem. They refuse to take their responsibility seriously.

Don Dix

Congress and responsibility? Best example of two words that have absolutely nothing to do with one another!


I agree Mike....People like Lindsey Graham make me wonder how (and why) a Congressman can completely change his point of view...It's sad how cowardly some of "our" representatives in Congress have become. Most only represent themselves.....

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable