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Letters: Should Trump declare a national emergency for a border wall?

Johnson City Press • Feb 17, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Before President Donald Trump’s announcement Friday, we asked our readers with Monday’s Question of the Week whether he should declare a national emergency to build a wall along the country’s southern border. Here are some of the responses we received.

Separate it from the politics

The answer is simple and common sense if you take the politics out of it. Every country, including the USA, has a right and obligation to protect its borders from illegal entry. The people charged with guarding our border have told us that where barriers (walls, fencing, etc.) exist they definitely help in preventing illegal entry.

We have a process in place for the legal entry into our country. Allowing people to come in illegally and bypass the legal process is not fair to those that follow the rules. Additionally, the money, resources and services required to take care of those that enter our country illegally are financed by the federal taxes we all pay and should be used for the benefit of our legal citizens.

DAVE WOLONICK
Johnson City

Don’t misuse emergency declaration

No, he should not. That is, unless we want President Trump to set a precedent of using the military to accomplish his own political agenda in defiance of Congress, who are at least theoretically the people’s representatives.

No — unless we want to degrade the definition of a “national emergency” to mean whatever a president wants it to mean in order to get his way.

No — unless we want to undermine the historically conservative values of local control and states’ rights instead imposing federal (specifically presidential) power.

No — unless we want to do all of these things in a situation that is not clearly and obviously an imminent security threat.

No — unless we want to let a president make a unilateral decision based on disputed interpretations of facts and blatant falsehoods, such as Mr. Trump’s mischaracterization of crime in El Paso.

In other words, no — unless we are ready to open the door to virtually unchecked presidential powers and a possible constitutional crisis involving states’ rights, the use and abuse of the military for political purposes, separation of powers and our system of checks and balances.

SIMON J. DAHLMAN
Johnson City

Just don’t shut down

Yes, President Trump should declare a national emergency if necessary to fund the border wall. The government should not be shut down, however. It is not fair to the Coast Guard and Border Patrol agents.

GERRY GREENWELL
Gray

Joking during an emergency

I heard a good joke the other day: President Trump threatened to start sending Democrats to Mexico. Now Mexico is requesting funds to build a wall.

In response to the question of the week: The only logical answer is yes, President Trump should do whatever is necessary to secure the sovereignty of this country for both the safety and protection of its legal citizens and the overall welfare and long-term survival of the country. Without sovereignty, no country can survive. If it comes to a shutdown, then so be it. Obama did the same thing over DACA. If Pelosi and her minions would simply cough up a paltry $6 billion, this whole thing could go away and she could avoid a repeat of her recent shutdown. But if the Democrats did that, their goal of permanently modifying (or changing) the US citizen voting structure would take a lot longer. This alludes to why the Democrats despise the idea of the Census requiring counts of legal citizens only.

If the Democrats want to limit illegal immigrant detainees, then there should also be strict limits to the number of humans allowed to cross the border as well, regardless of the reason. It would make things much easier for the border patrol and save this country billions. The left (Democrats) want to give southern Mexico almost $11 billion, and for what reason? Throwing money at Mexico to help resolve our immigration issues has not helped in the past, so why continue? For half of those monies, the House of Representatives can avoid a shutdown. How difficult is that? Apparently very difficult.

If a declaration of emergency is needed for the protection of this county then President Trump should do just that.

GARY BOONE
Johnson City

Don’t divert money for a diversion

I am against any funding for a wall on our southern border. I feel it is a manufactured crisis contrived to divert attention from Trump’s legal problems.

JIM MILLER
Hampton

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