On Friday Feb. 14, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the “national security crisis” at the southern border of the United States. This emergency declaration was a full-scale attack on the constitutional need for the separation of powers.
Why are we, as a country, still ignoring the fact that the only national emergency we are currently experiencing is Trump himself? We have allowed him to polarize our country based purely on his xenophobic attitudes towards minorities. As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, “the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease”.
As Trump cleverly argued in his Rose Garden statement, presidents have been utilizing the National Emergencies Act since its creation in 1976. He then argued that “nobody cares” because past presidents’ emergencies “weren’t very exciting”. Trump’s blatant narcissism blinds him to the tyrannical behavior he has exhibited throughout his entire political career.
“We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals, we want to stop gangs,” Trump said during the statement.
The issue is not drugs, human traffickers or gangs that, according to Trump, cross the border in droves to kill American citizens. On the contrary, the issue is the anti-immigrant rhetoric that, due to Trump’s abuse of power and elicitation of racism, has polarized the American public debate.
Although a myriad of issues with immigration laws exists in the United States, the immigrants at the southern border do not constitute a national crisis. With his blatant contradiction of Congress’ decision, Trump exacerbates the ideals of racism and white privilege from which our country has attempted to separate itself.
A wall does not have the ability to detect illicit behavior, conduct migrant screenings or apprehend true criminals. The only perceivable purpose of Trump’s wall is to continue perpetuating white peoples’ fear of minorities.
Rather than abusing his tyrannical power to fund his wall, Trump should instead focus his attention on addressing asylum applications, implementing stronger technology at the border and creating more secure ports of entry.
The current problem at the southern border is the influx of Central Americans seeking asylum. Rather than creating a wall which would block the legal process of asylum, Trump’s administration should prioritize the backlog of asylum claims.
Further, increased technology such as cameras and aerial sensors would help combat the “gang monsters” that Trump insists are plaguing America. Trump’s belief that a wall will be the end-all cure to drug trafficking and gang violence only proves his underlying belief that minorities are less intelligent, and that white people are innately superior. The Department of Homeland Security argues that the wall would be inefficient in preventing terrorist threats.
“Most of these individuals are trying to enter the U.S. by air,” the Department of Homeland Security stated.
By implementing technological advancements instead of the rather rudimentary wall defense, the United States would be able to actually defend itself against true security crises.
Our country needs to stop making excuses for Trump’s behavior. Regardless of the legality of circumventing Congress’ decision to block funding for the wall, Trump continues to prove that he does not actually care for the safety of American citizens—he only cares for his selfish agenda. American citizens must pay attention to Trump’s direct opposition to the separation of powers, which ultimately appears to be the beginning of a dictatorship.
photo courtesy Boston Globe