The caravan, which originated ‘spontaneously’ in Honduras, has swelled in size as migrants made their way across Guatemala and entered Mexico. Initially, reports said the caravan consisted of about 1,000 migrants but that number has now reached nearly 10,000 and is expected to grow even larger.
“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emerg[enc]y. Must change laws!” the president tweeted.
“Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally,” he continued.
“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them,” said POTUS.
The mention of “unknown” people from the Middle East appears to indicate that the president has intelligence suggesting that there could be terrorist suspects interspersed in the caravan. And while there may be known “criminals” in the rapidly expanding caravan, anyone who crosses illegally into the U.S. has broken the country’s immigration laws.
It’s unclear at this point if POTUS Trump has actually declared a national emergency, which would be contained in an executive order. As of this writing, no order has been issued.
However, as the president mentioned in his tweet, he has “alerted” both the Border Patrol – a Department of Homeland Security agency – and the Pentagon that a ‘national emergency’ exists, which, if true, gives him extraordinary powers. (Related: POTUS Trump: Migrant caravan a ‘disgrace to the Democrat Party’.)
Under the National Emergencies Act, passed in 1976 to actually prevent presidents from declaring open-ended national emergencies while providing Congress some oversight authority, POTUS Trump’s authorities are triggered under other various statutes. They are not automatically authorized, however; they must be identified specifically within an actual written declaration before the authorities can be conveyed.
And while emergency powers are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, it’s well understood through more than two centuries’ worth of precedent that a “national emergency” consists of anything from an act of war to natural and financial disasters. A rush of humanity at the U.S. border certainly falls under this category.
“Such a declaration allows suspension of change in functions of any branch of government, and gives the government the power to suspend certain rights or freedoms normally guaranteed by the Constitution,” notes LegalDictionary.net.
“Powers under states of emergency are implied and largely discretionary, however, the Constitution specifically states that the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be suspended unless the safety of the public is compromised during times of rebellion” (take note, Antifa), the site noted further. “Only Congress has the authority to suspend the Writ.”
Under a formally declared national emergency, POTUS Trump could marshal the resources necessary to close the U.S. border if he believed it was necessary to protect the country, while still allowing traditional trade and commerce to continue.
He could federalize National Guard troops more easily and send them to the border even if states objected.
And he could theoretically suspend current laws such as those pertaining to current border, immigration, and asylum processes that would allow virtually any migrant who arrived at the U.S. border free passage into the country.
Read more about the migrant invasion into the U.S. at OpenBorders.news.