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Thomas Gallatin / Jan. 7, 2019

A View of the Shutdown From the Border

Trump floats using emergency powers to construct a wall as Democrats continue their resistance.

As the border security budget battle enters its third week of partial government bureaucracy shutdowns, there is still no immediate end in sight. In fact, if anything President Donald Trump upped the ante over the weekend by suggesting that he might use the military to build the wall after declaring the border situation a national emergency. Of course, if Trump were to attempt such an action it would be immediately challenged in the courts, and historical precedent in such cases does not favor the president. But we suspect that threat and his insistence that he’s willing for a shutdown to last for years are simply shots across the Democrat bow. Meanwhile, as both sides continue to dig in, some Americans are taking matters into their own hands, as in the case of Yellow National Park, where private businesses have banded together to keep the park open for the tourism their businesses depend upon.

As for the situation at the border in the midst of this shutdown, the best people to hear from are those actually dealing with the situation on the frontlines. Here’s a sampling of their perspective on why an actual physical wall is desperately needed:

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said, “I’ve been a Border Patrol agent for 21 years. I can personally tell you … that walls actually work. … If you interview Border Patrol agents, they will tell you that walls work. … They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border. We need those physical barriers, and we appreciate President Trump and all of his efforts in getting us those physical barriers.”

Hector Garza, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council and a Border Patrol agent in Texas, argues, “We’re talking about murderers, rapists, [and] people that commit very serious crimes in this country. … These criminal aliens that have been released from jail [and] that have been deported will come right back into the United States. However, if we had a physical barrier, if we had a wall, we would be able to stop that. … We ask our congressmen to fund border security and fund the border wall.”

Finally, this assessment from Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello: “2,000 people are coming to the border each and every day. … Loopholes in the law [are] encouraging people to come to that border. … We are running out of resources and the status quo is not acceptable. [Democrats] are saying that a wall doesn’t work. Agents need an enduring capability to slow people down [at the border]. It provides an anchor for them to add technology, access roads, and patrol response to protect our border. We always have a safer border where we have that barrier. People who don’t believe it works — why do they have fences around their homes and lock their doors at night? … This is getting bottled up in politics. … I was in the Border Patrol for 33 years. … Walls work.”

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