I respect the right of members of Congress who say they cannot in good conscious support executive action to secure our nation’s borders. They claim that it’s unconstitutional and it sets a precedent for future presidents to use executive action to do the same. Some fear a future president could use this executive action to confiscate guns and take away our second amendment rights or attack the first amendment under the guise of a national emergency.
I would like to remind those members of Congress that they have a responsibility to secure our nation. The American people have sent us here to solve the nation’s problems, not ignore them. I see three reasons they should support President Trump‘s tough decision to secure our borders:
1. In 1976, Congress passed the National Emergency Act giving the chief executive authority to act in defense of the nation- in 1982 Congress increased presidential authority to act in defense of the country.
2. Most presidents have had to deal with the U.S. borders in one capacity or another and usually, Congress was able to act to support fulfilling the constitutional duty to provide for the defense of the nation by helping those presidents secure and maintain the U.S. border. But since President Reagan, Congress has failed to come up with a border-immigration solution.
3. The crisis at the border is escalating. Last month over 76,000 people tried to enter America illegally along our southern border. That number will grow exponentially if this problem continues to be left unchecked and the crisis will not only be outside our border but within.
Congress’s failure to act has created this crisis at the border, not President Trump.
One senator claimed, “this would shred his political soul if we did not stand up to President Trump the same way we did to President Obama for his executive authority overreach.” There’s a major difference between President Obama and Trump’s approach to our southern border. Obama broke the law by allowing people to enter the U.S. illegally- jeopardizing American citizens. Whereas, President Trump followed U.S. law to secure our border to keep people out and to protect American citizens because of Congress’s failure to do so.
Failure to secure our borders has led to the crisis we are experiencing today. Members of Congress who do not support President Trump’s executive action to secure our nation’s border are not fulfilling their constitutional oath to protect America and are responsible for this emergency. Their constituents will decide their political fate and legacy. Vote wisely, vote to support the president and let’s fix the immigration debacle, so we do not put the United States and her citizens in this situation ever again.
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., was first elected to Congress in 2012.