By Aranza Carrillo
After withstanding a government shutdown that lasted 35 days, Congress stopped a second one from happening by passing a bill that offers $1.3 billion for Trump’s wall, way less than what he asked for. Angered by this, President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency on February 15, 2019, in order to get the funding necessary to put towards the construction of the border wall and gives him control of spending, a constitutional power that only Congress has.
This decision has created a lot of controversy because many believe he is abusing his power and that a national emergency should only be used for true emergencies. For example, Barack Obama declared a national emergency to obtain treatment for the swine flu and Bush declared one after the 9/11 attack. Both national emergencies differ from Trump’s because these were actual threats to the United States that hurt citizens, while the wall will just create division. President Donald Trump wants this wall to be built immediately because it was a promise he made during his campaign and if he fails to do so, he fears he will lose more of his credibility during the 2020 election. In addition, Trump argues that this wall is needed for the benefit of the people. However, it is also taking money away from them that could’ve been put towards healthcare or education, such as how the other national emergencies did put money towards the people without wasting money that was taken. California and 15 other states are also disagreeing with Trump, and are now teaming up to set a lawsuit against him and his abuses on his executive power. Congress didn’t give Trump the money he asked for a reason; there is no national emergency present and isn’t something that this country really needs. According to Trump, the wall will prevent the spread of illegal drugs and criminals, such as MS-13, which threatens to national security. However, wall or no wall, these two issues will unfortunately always be here since there isn’t a possible solution yet that detects when and how criminals will enter the United States. Nearly 4.6 million immigrants came to the United States from 2010 to 2017, and that was with strict border patrol. A national emergency should only be declared when it is truly needed, as in a terrorist attack, not because money is needed to build a wall that will stop nothing.