Congressional Democrats are having a banner week, and it’s only Tuesday.
After the collapse of the 2-year, $25 million false Russian collusion debacle over the weekend, House Democrats this afternoon attempted yet again to reverse President Donald J. Trump’s national emergency declaration for our southern border. In the end, despite Democratic control of the House, they fell a few dozen votes short of overriding President Trump’s veto of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) resolution.
“The Democrat-sponsored resolution would terminate vital border security operations,” President Trump explained before signing his veto on March 15. “Congress’s vote to deny the crisis on the southern border is a vote against reality.”
🎬 Watch: This is what a broken border looks like
Too few in the media have bothered explaining to the American people why the situation at our southern border is a national emergency in the first place. The reality is that our immigration problem today is vastly different than what it was even just a few years ago.
In fiscal year 2000, for example, most U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions were of single adult males. Of these individuals, 95 percent were repatriated within hours. Today, apprehensions largely consist of family units and minors, many of whom end up remaining in the United States for a long time because of loopholes in our immigration laws.
Smugglers know these loopholes and exploit them to circumvent our safe, lawful, and secure immigration system. As a result, apprehensions of family units have surged by a jaw-dropping 338 percent this year. Daily attempts to cross the southern border illegally have hit a 13-year high, as well.
Here’s what that means: “The surge has maxed out the capacity of existing detention centers” near the U.S.–Mexico border, NBC News reported today. “The Department of Homeland Security is now in negotiations with the Department of Defense to detain and care for the overflow on U.S. military bases.”
In other words, America’s immigration system is so broken that our military bases may have to become temporary shelters while U.S. courts try to keep up with the case backlog. The President’s national emergency declaration tries to limit the damage by allowing access of up to $3.6 billion in military construction funds for border security.
Today’s vote demonstrates yet again that Congress refuses to address the security and humanitarian crisis its own negligence has created. It should at least allow President Trump to use his executive authority to step in and fix it.