National Emergencies: Border Wall

Diego Martinez, Copy Editor

Over the last four decades, the United States has deemed the border wall an emergency since Reagan’s administration, and the Trump administration has recently declared it a national emergency. One side of the political spectrum questions the logicity of the order, and the other is glad to see President Trump keep his promises. After the government was shut down to halt the funding of the southern wall, in spite of putting many federal employees out of work and pay. The shutdown ended soon after as President Trump no longer wanted federal workers to pay the price for political gain on both sides. In order to secure funding, the president declared a national emergency on the premise of drug cartels, sex-trafficking, gangs, and officially ending mass illegal immigration form the southern border into the United States.


While the debate over whether illegal immigration is immoral or moral, the mainstream media has strung attacks against the emergency, claiming that the wall is no more an emergency than gun-violence in the United States. California senator Nancy Pelosi even threatened Republicans that if Democrats were to win the 2020 presidential election, they would declare a national emergency on “gun-violence.” Thus, begging the questions: is the border wall is truly worthy of being labeled a “national emergency?” And is “gun-violence” a true national emergency?


Illegal Immigration

It has been proven that illegal immigration has significantly decreased wages in low-skilled labor, and put state-mandated minimum wage at a huge disadvantage to every American worker. According to a briefing held by the United States Commission of Civil Rights, their findings proved that  illegal workers “are estimated to account for as much as one-third of total immigrants in the United States, and that illegal immigration has tended to increase the supply of low-skilled, low-wage labor available.” More findings show that 9.1% of undocumented citizens take government food stamps, and 15.5% of Medicaid funding, showing that illegally entering the United States has benefited them greatly as they consume taxpayers dollars.


We see the moral question stand out amongst the controversy: is it fair to deprive others of such benefits just because they are overseas and/or too far away to illegally immigrate into the United States? On average, people from around the world wait years to enter the United States in order to be properly vetted into the nation. It is simply immoral to further damage the United States immigration quota just because an individual is in the position to bend the rules.


Everyone around the world deserves to enter the United States, legally. Everyone before them waited, and everyone before them struggled too–why are they exempted? Could it simply be ethnic discrimination? Why is the political left so lenient towards Hispanic illegal immigrants, but not Asian? After all, more than half of illegal immigrants are from Mexico or Central America.


Drugs and Sex Trafficking in Comparison to Gun Related Homicide

While the sex-traffic and drug cartel argument may simply be scapegoats to deter the morality of illegal immigration, they are still good points even when Trump’s true focus is illegal immigration. Illegal sex-traffics are prevalent in the southern border, and many women suffer every single year due to this humanitarian crisis. We simply cannot allow this to continue as 70% of everyone trafficked come from the southern border.


According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, 90% of heroin seized along the border, 88% of cocaine, 87% of methamphetamine, and 80% of fentanyl in the first 11 months of the 2018 fiscal year were caught trying to be smuggled in the United States. Many American deaths result in the overdosing of these drugs, and while we can not successfully police the drugs circulated in the U.S, we can definitely halt it. Around 47,600 deaths were recorded due to opioid overdose compared to the 33,636 deaths resulted from firearm injury, all over the country. The vast majority of opiods that exist in the United States have all come from outside cartels.


From a logical standpoint, when the vast majority of opioids are produced outside of the U.S and brought in through the southern border, it is as surefire way to end the mass influx of drugs – especially when the vetting at the southern border will become stricter, since most drugs are caught at legal entry points. Drug cartels can try to find another route, but entrance through the wall will be undoubtedly impossible, blocking any illegal entry of drugs. Setting drug cartels and sex traffickers at a level of national emergency isn’t a menial or fallacious standard. Gun violence on the hand is much harder to control, especially when the American citizens have a right to bear arms.


For firearms, infringing the second amendment in order to confiscate American firearms is an example of totalitarianism. The state mandating citizens to deny their constitutional rights displays a failing society, one which uses quick action to solve complex problems. It isn’t as easy as it seems. It has been proven by the Crime Prevention Research Center, that only .002% of over 12.8 million Americans with a concealed carry permits have committed a firearm violation, not homicide. The vast majority of shootings happen in gun free zones as well (though it depends on the definition of mass shooting, questioned by Meg Kelly, on the Washington Post).


The whole premise of gun-violence existing, according to Elizabeth Macbride, is more based on the existence of guns, rather than mental health. Though the truth is that even with declaring a national emergency on “gun-violence,” which is incredibly vague, on the basis of school shootings is blasphemy. The ugly truth that Democrats seem to not want to or deny to accept is that gun violence statistically exists less in states and cities with more guns and less gun laws. Increased vetting has not worked in our nation for years, and with gun related homicides still rising, we can only question why gun related homicides has not drastically decreased with more vetting. Calling for a national emergency on guns will only affect the true law abiding citizens who do not commit infractions. Criminals who already do not follow the rules would not follow new ones either.


National Emergency

It all comes down to priority:  the fear mongering of mass shootings or the real effects of a defenseless southern border. Crime is incredibly prevalent and affects Americans the more than a firearm. I do not disagree that there need to be measures taken to decrease the amount of shootings, which involve either further policing in gun-free zones or the removal of such areas in the majority of the United States. However the border, for decades, presents a problem–illegal immigration, drugs, and sex-trafficking–it all suites the term “national emergency.”