A declared national emergency.
President Donald Trump has both signed a bill to fund the government and make the declaration – a move to secure enough money to build a border wall.
Congress has authorized over $1.3 billion to build a barrier along the southern border. The president signed this deal, but isn’t happy – and neither are Democrats.
Reactions on this declaration are pouring in from both sides.
“Because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people. And it’s unacceptable,” President Trump says.
The declaration will allow his administration to redirect more than $6 billion from federal funds, something Baylor College Republicans President Eric Soo says we need.
“Obviously, we know most illegal immigrants come from overstaying their visas through planes – but it would help,” Soo says.
Soo also says a wall is economically sound.
“You know, if one side is willing to propose these huge programs like ‘The Green New Deal’ and considering that the wall would only be less than one percent of America’s budget, I don’t understand why it’s such a big problem,” Soo says.
In a joint statement, Democratic leaders called the moving, “A power grab by a disappointed president who has gone outside the bounds of the law.”
Local immigrant advocates are also calling it unnecessary.
“We’re pleased to hear that he’s at least attempting to avoid another government shutdown. That’s super important for us. But as far as declaring this an emergency, it’s just him circumventing the rule of law,” says Hope Mustakim, of the Waco Immigrants Alliance.
Mustakim says she wants to see more from both sides of the isle.
“I don’t think we’re going to see comprehensive reform until we see money. Like big corporations getting their hand out of politics. Because we know detention deportation is a very profitable industry,” Mustakim says.
However, both agree there is a problem that needs to be fixed.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is the priority. That’s what needs to happen first,” Mustakim says.
“It’s a human rights issue going on,” Soo says.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other national organizations have also announced plans to sue over the national emergency declaration.