Trump manufactured crisis at the border

Donald Trump manufactured a crisis at the border, but it has nothing to do with his wall. There are still children separated from their families. The laundry-list of abuse continues to grow. The administration is still throwing asylum seekers in desolate “ice boxes,” regularly denying or short-circuiting due process, wastefully sending thousands of troops to the border, and turning away vulnerable children, women and men. The cruelty, civil rights, and coercion issues are far from solved. Yet the president focuses on his wall and continually misleads the public with wild and false claims.

There is NO national security emergency at the border. Trump manufactured a crisis and is now moving forward with an undemocratic power grab because Congress and the American public refuse to indulge his tantrums. From the midterms to the partial government shutdown to a recent poll, all of the evidence indicates the American people want responsible leadership, smart solutions, and answers that address real concerns in their communities, not a wasteful and ineffective wall.

Our Constitution is clear: Undermining Congress and declaring a national emergency to build a wall is illegal. This emergency power is reserved for natural disasters and real, immediate threats to our communities, not a manufactured crisis.

We need our elected leaders in Congress to make sure we maintain the balance of power set out by the Constitution and speak out against President Trump’s gross overreach.

The president has been unchecked in using transfer authority (the mechanism that has allowed his administration to take funding from programs like the Federal EmergencyManagement Agency) while America’s families are struggling. It is past time for Congress to reign in this out-of-control spending on immigration detention that comes at deep costs to families and our communities.

MARY O’NEILL,

Presque Isle