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Yes, There Is A National Emergency On Our Southern Border

Additional border funds
On Friday, we explained how President Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, working together, could build the Wall and frustrate the Democrats’ lawfare against the President’s border security initiatives.

The President’s Friday Declaration of an Emergency at the southern border did not follow the path we laid out, but it looks like it covered all the bases.

As the White House noted, multiple Governors have declared states of emergency along the border in the past, including high profile Democrats like former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, who became President Obama’s DHS Secretary, who declared a state of emergency along the border in 2005 and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who also declared a state of emergency at the border in 2005.

What’s more, former President Obama and former President George W. Bush both directed the use of the military to assist DHS in securing and managing the Southern Border.

And you don’t deploy the military unless it is an emergency.

Without directly referencing those precedents, President Trump noted that in response to the directive in his April 4, 2018, memorandum and subsequent requests for support by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense has provided support and resources to the Department of Homeland Security at the southern border.  Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis.

What exactly this additional support might entail has yet to be defined, but clearly the President envisions a significant increase in military’s involvement in securing the southern border.

Most interestingly, President Trump directed that the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and, subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the military departments, shall take all appropriate actions, consistent with applicable law, to use or support the use of the authorities herein invoked, including, if necessary, the transfer and acceptance of jurisdiction over border lands.

A good bit of the southern border is already nominally under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior because of the National Parks and other Department of Interior managed lands that abut the Mexican border. The President’s emergency declaration would appear to subject those lands to military jurisdiction at the discretion of the Secretary of Defense.

More than 40 percent of the land along the U.S.-Mexico border is federal land controlled by the Interior Department and U.S. Forest Service. In order to protect that land, the Interior Department employs more than 4,000 law enforcement agents — the third largest presence in the federal government.

That number includes National Park rangers and U.S. Park Police, but also federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 2002, after a park ranger in Arizona was shot and killed by a man who crossed the border illegally, the Interior Department called for more focus on enforcing border security on federal lands.

This is significant because, as WTOP Radio reported, immigration arrests at U.S. national parks and other federal lands spiked dramatically in 2018, with some 4,010 immigration-related arrests alone since May compared to only 126 arrests in 2016, according to the Interior Department.

According to figures released by the Interior Department, agents in national monuments and protected wilderness on the border not only apprehended and turned over 4,010 people to CBP custody and seized 2,356 pounds of drugs.

An additional 469 people were eventually arrested outside of federal lands WTOP reported.

As Ian Smith reported for the Washington Times, the Interior Department’s National Park Service told the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), in some of our natural reserves today, like southern Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, nearly half of all trails and sites are completely closed to the public due to high levels of illegal immigration and smuggling activities.

In the closed-off areas, even park service staff must be accompanied by their agency’s own special law enforcement, itself a recent development in direct response to the level of dangerous illegal alien activity. Internal agency reports show thousands of pounds of drugs being seized in our parks annually sometimes trafficked in with “cloned agency trucks.” And according to the Justice Department, this is all due to the region’s “largely unprotected border.”

If that isn’t a national emergency what is?

We agree with “Angel Dad” Dan Ferguson, whose beautiful and talented daughter Mandy was killed by an illegal alien:

In his declaration of a national emergency on our southern border, President Trump recognized the Americans who experienced the consequences of that emergency firsthand: angel moms and dads…

I hope the president’s efforts will convince Congress to finally do what is necessary to secure America’s borders, before another parent has to bury his or her child because partisan bickering kept politicians from doing what’s right to secure the safety of the American people.

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