View from the Voice: Trump is setting a scary precedent


On the campaign trail in 2016, President Trump infamously said he would oversee the construction of a wall along the United States’ southwestern border. It was just one of countless outlandish claims and promises that he has ultimately failed to uphold throughout his disastrous 26 months as Commander-in-Chief.

But Trump won’t quit this all-important wall, or rather, he can’t, since it’s virtually the only campaign platform he has left to stand on. “Build the Wall” signs and chants remain a staple of Trump rallies everywhere. The construction of the wall is more about appeasing the xenophobes in Trump’s camp than anything else, and he’s willing to fake a national emergency and shamelessly grab billions of dollars to do it.

Now, even in the face of significant opposition from his own party, the president is refusing to listen to reason. In a rare instance of party division, twelve Republicans sided with Democrats in a Senate vote to overturn Trump’s initial declaration 59-41. But the president paid it no mind. On Friday, March 15, he used his first veto to overturn Congress’ rejection of his national emergency declaration.

The action drew bipartisan condemnation, with members of both parties referencing government data disproving Trump’s assertions that waves of criminal migrants are entering the U.S. Trump’s administration defended the veto, saying that his emergency declaration is authorized by law. On Monday, The Pentagon sent Congress a list of military construction projects that could be cut to cover costs for the border wall.

We at The Voice believe Trump is setting an unnerving and potentially dangerous precedent with this blatant power move. Federal emergency funding is meant to quickly transfer money in the event of a national crisis. Natural disasters and terrorist attacks fall under the crisis category. An emergency that’s cooked up to push a racist agenda does not.

While it’s true that the executive power to veto resolutions from Congress has been constitutional since 1788, the fact remains that Trump is using this power to perpetuate a lie. Long before he took office, he was making arguments about the border that were questionable at best and outright falsehoods at worst.

He’s doubled down on these assertions in recent months, including a claim that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement “removed 10,000 known or suspected gang members like MS-13 and members as bad as them.” Per the New York Times, ICE reported that it removed 5,872 “known or suspected” gang members in 2018.

Also, despite what Trump proclaims seemingly on a daily basis, there’s no evidence for a correlation or link between crime and immigration. As far as the drug crisis in the United States is concerned, a wall would do nothing to prevent the thousands of deaths caused by prescription opioid overdoses every year.

Rather than admit defeat and save the money for a real emergency, Trump is hell-bent on going over Congress’ head and getting his 2,000-mile-long symbol of xenophobia constructed. Standing in his way are numerous lawsuits filed by 20 states, arguing that Trump lacks the authority to divert funds for building the wall since Congress is in charge of spending.

We can only hope that the courts will shoot down Trump’s call for cash, and that future emergency orders will be used for real-life crises instead of racist passion projects.

– The Voice