Wednesday, February 27, 2019

State of emergency

Thus far I haven't said anything about Trump declaring a state of emergency to build the wall.

1. There's the question of whether that's illegal. Ironically, I've seen the legality of the action defended from unexpected quarters:

2. Another objection is that it sets a terrible precedent. That may be true, but it's not as if Democrats exercise restraint so long as Republicans exercise restraint.

Also, just declaring something a national emergency isn't equivalent to declaring martial law. It doesn't mean a chief executive can do whatever he (or she) pleases from thereon out. For instance, there are judicial hurdles to clear.

3. I don't know how this will play politically. Depends in part on the follow-through. It does indicate that Trump is serious about keeping his campaign promises. And if he succeeds, it proves him to be someone who can get things done.

4. Since protecting the country from foreign maunders is surely part of his mandate as commander-in-chief, I can't get too worked up about whether this is executive overreach. For decades, illegal immigration has been a bipartisan failure. It's refreshing to have a president who making a determined effort to stop the raiding parties.

5. I'm also reminded of how Reagan defied the Boland Amendment. As an old Cold Warrior, Reagan was protecting the country from a Communist beachhead in Latin America. Good for him. That's his job.


  1. Hey Steve,
    Off topic. I am curious can you do (or have you done) an analysis on how local stories become blown up through social media and how its bad?

    1. Important issue, but I have no particular expertise on that.

  2. There is a decent argument for relatively-liberal immigration policies (all things being equal), but I can't see any for the open-border philosophy. We should at least be documenting people at ports of entry, and conducting due diligence background checks to ensure that criminals and terrorists aren't entering. But otherwise we allow free entry and migration. That would be a huge improvement over just having people sneak across the Rio Grande en masse.

    But all things are not equal. The United States is now a hulking welfare state. And that is before you even begin to consider indirect welfare programs (e.g. emergency rooms). The ship has sailed on a liberal immigration policy unless we roll back this welfare state. But no one has the stomach to do that.

    And the open borders crowd are willfully ignorant on the real-world negative impacts of our current de facto immigration policies. There has been a real price to pay, and I'm not just talking about crime. There are now pockets of mini-Tijuanas all over southern California. They've re-created small versions of the third world crud-holes that they were ostensibly trying to escape.

    And far too many of the migrants do not have any love of liberty, free markets, and the Constitution. They don't share our basic civic values, and that's a serious problem for the future.