Illegals surge, Trump builds, and House tries to shut down border wall construction behind him
With as many as four million migrants vowing to enter the U.S. illegally in 2019, nearly 100,000 apprehended in April alone, and 168,000 "families" released into the U.S. interior this year, the surge is on.
President Trump is working at breakneck speed to get some semblance of a wall built, particularly at the critical crossing areas. According to a report from Townhall's Katie Pavlich, citing official Homeland Security releases, waivers are being issued to permit wall construction now.
The Department of Homeland Security announced the issuance of two waivers Wednesday morning in order to expedite the construction of new border wall in parts of California and Arizona.
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two waivers, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson and El Centro Sectors in Arizona and California, respectively. The projects covered by the waivers include up to approximately 78 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to road construction and improvement and lighting installation. The waivers were published in the Federal Register on May 15, 2019," DHS released. "While the waivers eliminate DHS’s obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, DHS remains committed to environmental stewardship. DHS has initiated consultation with other federal and state resource agencies to ensure that impacts to the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic artifacts are analyzed and minimized, to the greatest extent possible."
A waiver was also issued to start construction on 15 miles of broken down fencing in Border Patrol's San Diego Sector.
"The San Diego and El Centro Sectors are areas of high illegal entry and are experiencing large numbers of individuals and narcotics being smuggled into the country illegally. The construction of border infrastructure within these project areas will support DHS’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations," DHS stated.
They're trying to get something up, given the surge, given the national emergency, and red tape can wait. Evidently, the Department of Homeland Security was thinking of places like this:
Image credit: Customs and Border Patrol via KUSI.
I wrote about this incident last February: apparently, the corrugated metal "fencing" made of repurposed military surplus dating from the Vietnam War was a cinch for cartels to ram down in order to smuggle their lucrative human (and possibly illegal drug) cargo into the States. And it can't be the only ram-down of this Reynolds Wrap–style sheeting.
President Trump is to be commended for moving at breakneck speed as the surge rolls in.
But incredibly enough, the illegals surge is actually less important than what is going on in the House.
Democrats are moving to stop any border wall construction even as it becomes very clear that there is a crisis at the U.S. southern border. According to Defense News:
WASHINGTON ― Key House Democrats are following through on a threat to limit the Pentagon's authority to reprogram funds in response to Pentagon leaders diverting military funding toward President Donald Trump's wall with Mexico.
A group of House Armed Services Committee Democrats led by Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; HASC Chair Adam Smith, D-Wash., and HASC Readiness Subcommittee Chair John Garamendi, D-Calif., offered a bill Wednesday to cap national emergency military construction authority at $250 million per emergency. The legislation would tighten the ability to waive other provisions of law in carrying out the projects and mandate congressional notification and waiting periods for construction projects.
This marks the second time House Democrats in have offered legislation restricting the executive branch since the Pentagon unilaterally reprogrammed $1.5 billion in fiscal 2019 funds last week to support the wall―for more than $2 billion this year. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on defense passed a 2020 Pentagon funding bill that slashes the amount of money the military can shift between accounts from $9.5 billion to $1.5 billion.
Illegals are surging in, and Democrats are literally trying to stop the construction of a wall. No condemnation of the lawless surge, no criticism of the immense profits the drug cartels are making as a result of it, no effort to find ways to admit more people into the U.S. legally, no concern for the costs the migrant surge will bring to blue cities and states. They're focused on just one thing: making sure that wall goes up.
And their motives are amazingly politicized, not crisis-oriented (emphasis mine):
"Congress debated the issue of border security for a year-and-a-half and decided to spend $1.2 billion on more effective border security technologies than the President's vanity wall," Garamendi, whose panel oversees military construction, said in a statement.
"This crucial legislation will provide a vital check on the executive branch and prohibit the President from using the MILCON budget and other critical projects as a personal slush fund to fulfill a campaign promise."
They're calling it a vanity wall, as if were a statue of himself or maybe a billboard, not an instrument to re-establish the definition of U.S. borders, strengthen rule of law, and re-asserting U.S. sovereignty.
They don't want any of that.
What's more, they seem to think there's something wrong with Trump keeping a campaign promise, something he is repeatedly in a habit of doing. What they are calculating in their small little minds is that if Trump fulfills this campaign promise, he'll get more popular.
Can't have that. It's a backhanded admission of sorts that the wall is necessary in the face of the surge and the idea remains popular, despite a slew of Democratic-linked push polls claiming otherwise. If the wall were as unpopular with the public as they say it is, we wouldn't be seeing action like this.
One can only feel sympathy for President Trump as the wall goes up at breakneck speed now. The president is actually fighting a two-front war, not just against the cartels who made immense profits on human smuggling on one side, which is where the media attention is, but against the Democrats who are playing wingman for cartel financial interests in zero borders as well as their own political interests in bringing in as many illegal immigrants as possible, the better to fatten their electoral seatings, get an army of political operatives, and get their votes to perpetrate their power. As the sponsorship of Rep. Gil Cisneros to these measures signals, the most fervent proponents of these measures to Stop Trump are in office through ballot-harvesting, and they've got illegals doing the ballot-harvesting to put them in power.
What a nasty pair of enemies the president is fighting at once. The wall will hold away one of them. Only the voters can get rid of the other. Until it happens, all he can do is build — racing the clock.