Build The Wall

A bill that would allow taxpayers to donate a part of their refunds to a nonprofit collecting money to build more border wall has successfully passed the Alabama Senate.

Alabama state senators voted 23-6 along party lines Thursday in favor of SB 22, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. The legislation would add We Build The Wall Inc. to a list of about 20 groups and programs on state income tax forms that residents can check off and donate with their tax refunds.

“I think it’s a way for Alabamians to say to the president and to the nation that we think strong border security is important. We want to promote that. We want Washington to build that wall,” GOP Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, the bill’s sponsor, stated according to The Associated Press.

“This bill is about sending a message to Washington that we support President Trump and his mission to secure our southern border,” Marsh said, who is mulling a 2020 U.S. Senate bid.

We Build The Wall — which began in December as a viral GoFundMe campaign by Air Force veteran and triple amputee Brian Kolfage — is a nonprofit group that is raising money for wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border. The GoFundMe page is nearing $21,000,000 in donations.

However, the legislation may be more symbolic than anything else. Before funds from We Build The Wall can be used, Congress must vote to allow the money to be directed to the Department of Homeland Security. Given that the Democratic Party controls the House of Representatives, this is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.

The private contributions are rolling in as President Donald Trump continues to fight for more wall funding. Trump signed into law a resolution that gave him $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of barrier on the Texas border. He then declared a national emergency that has allowed him a total of $8 billion in funding, but numerous progressive groups are suing his emergency declaration in court.

People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People work on the U.S.-Mexic0 border wall on Feb. 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The president, in his latest budget proposal, is asking for an additional $8.6 billion in wall funding.

Back in Alabama, local Democrats derided SB 22, which will later be voted on by the state House.

“What about the Northern border? More people are crossing over the Northern border but you don’t want to pay them any attention,” Alabama state Sen. Bobby Singleton, a Democrat who called the measure a “feel good” bill, said according to AP. (RELATED: Overwhelmed ICE Facilities Forced To Release 100,000 Illegal Aliens In Past Three Months)

Singleton’s comments are technically correct. Over 960 people have illegally crossed the U.S.-Canada border in 2018, according to government data, representing a 91 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. However, that number remains a minuscule fraction of the apprehensions taking place on the U.S.-Mexico border, where border officials expect to find nearly 100,000 foreign nationals in the month of March alone.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican opposition grew Thursday to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border as the Senate chugged toward a showdown vote that seemed certain to rebuff him despite his last-minute warnings.

GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mitt Romney of Utah Romney became the sixth and seventh Republicans to say they’d vote Thursday for a resolution to annul the border emergency Trump declared last month.

Just four GOP defections would ensure the measure would be sent to the White House, where Trump has promised a veto. There is no indication that foes of his declaration have the votes to overturn his veto, and Trump said as much at midday.

“I’ll do a veto. It’s not going to be overturned,” Trump told reporters. “It’s a border security vote.”

He did not answer when reporters asked if there would be consequences for Republicans who vote against him.

But a White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations.

Trump wants to use his declaration to steer $3.6 billion more than Congress has approved for building border barriers than Congress has approved.

Vice President Mike Pence toured a Customs and Border Protection training facility in West Virginia Wednesday. He thanked border agents for protecting the country and called on Congress to approve President Trump's border emergency declaration. (March 13)

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Trump’s rejection of Lee’s proposal left many Republicans boxed in: defy Trump and the conservative voters who back him passionately, or assent to what many lawmakers from both parties consider a dubious and dangerous expansion of presidential authority.

Democrats, set to oppose him, said there was no emergency at the border. They said Trump issued his declaration only because Congress agreed to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers and he was desperate to fulfill his campaign promise to “Build the Wall.”

“He’s obsessed with showing strength, and he couldn’t just abandon his pursuit of the border wall, so he had to trample on the Constitution to continue his fight,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

On the Senate floor, Alexander — one of the chamber’s more respected lawmakers — said Trump’s emergency action was “inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution that I took an oath to support,” citing the power Congress has to control spending. Romney, his party’s 2012 presidential nominee, used a written statement to called Trump’s declaration “an invitation to further expansion and abuse by future presidents.”

The defections by the two high-profile lawmakers added weight to the growing list of GOP opponents to his border emergency, and left little doubt that the Republican-run Senate would snub Trump. The challenge in a battle related to his signature issue — building barriers along the Mexican border — is striking.

Thursday’s vote would be the first time Congress has rejected a presidential emergency under the 1976 National Emergency Act. While presidents have declared 58 emergencies under the statute, this is the first aimed at acquiring money for an item Congress has explicitly refused to finance, according to Elizabeth Goitein, co-director for national security at New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice.

On Twitter, Trump called on Republicans to oppose the resolution, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., helped drive through the House last month.

“Today’s issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don’t vote with Pelosi!” he tweeted, invoking the name of a Democrat who boatloads of GOP ads have villainized in recent campaign cycles.

Republicans had hoped that if Trump would endorse a separate bill by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, constraining emergency declarations in the future, it would win over enough GOP senators to reject the resolution blocking his border emergency.

But Trump told Lee on Wednesday that he opposed Lee’s legislation, prompting Lee himself to say he would back the resolution thwarting the border emergency in Thursday’s vote. Trump tweeted Thursday if Congress wants to amend the law governing emergency declarations in the future, “I will support those efforts.”

Other GOP senators who’ve said they’d vote to overturn Trump’s border emergency were Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Tillis, though, has wavered in recent days. He and Collins face potentially competitive re-election fights in 2020.

Republicans control the Senate 53-47.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is backing Trump, went to the White House late Wednesday to see if some compromise could be reached that would help reduce the number of GOP senators opposing the border emergency, according to a person familiar with the visit who described it on condition of anonymity. Trump’s Thursday comments indicated the visit didn’t produce results.

The National Emergency Act gives presidents wide leeway in declaring an emergency. Congress can vote to block a declaration, but the two-thirds majorities required to overcome presidential vetoes make it hard for lawmakers to prevail.

Lee proposed letting a presidential emergency last 30 days unless Congress votes to extend it. That would have applied to future emergencies but not Trump’s current order unless he sought to renew it next year.

The strongest chance of blocking Trump is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

___

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

President Trump on Thursday threw his support behind future efforts by Congress, though not a current one, to change the federal law granting the president authority to declare national emergencies.

“Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress,” Trump said in a pair of tweets. “If, at a later date, Congress wants to update the law, I will support those efforts, but today’s issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don’t vote with Pelosi!”

Even so, Trump is rejecting an existing GOP-backed proposal to curb his emergency decree power, suggesting he wants to keep the focus currently on his efforts to build a border wall.

The president’s tweets come after he rejected Wednesday legislation from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, that would rein in the president’s power to declare a national emergency.

Lee’s bill, introduced Tuesday, would automatically end all future emergency declarations made under the National Emergencies Act after 30 days unless Congress extended it. Under current law, Congress can only nullify an emergency declaration if it passes a resolution that can endure a presidential veto.

Senate Republicans floated a deal under which they would support Trump’s emergency declaration to build the border wall in exchange for a promise from the president to sign Lee’s bill, highlighting the precarious position of GOP senators who don’t want to risk crossing Trump.

The Senate on Thursday will vote on a resolution of disapproval that would block Trump’s Feb. 15 emergency declaration, which allows him to circumvent Congress to divert money to build the wall.

The president has argued the emergency declaration is about national security and ending a humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Voting for the resolution of disapproval, he tweeted, is “a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!”

But Democrats and several Senate Republicans have expressed concerns with the constitutionality of Trump’s action, as well as the precedent it sets for future White Houses. The Senate is expected to pass the resolution, which already passed the House, with bipartisan support in a rebuff of the president’s order.

Trump, however, has vowed to veto the measure, which would be the first of his presidency. It’s unlikely there are enough votes in Congress to override the veto.

Under the emergency declaration, $3.6 billion from the Defense Department’s military construction fund would be redirected to pay for construction of the border wall.

The president’s order was swiftly challenged in federal court by a slew of states and organizations that argued the move was unconstitutional.

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President Donald Trump launched another battle for border-wall funding on Monday, calling for $8.6 billion additional dollars in his proposed federal budget for next year. Top Democrats came out swinging, bashing a border wall as “expensive and ineffective.”

The truth is, Dems are not leveling with the public about the billions we’re already forced to spend on shelters, food, diapers, medical care and child care for migrants sneaking across the border and claiming asylum.

Not to mention the costs of public schooling and healthcare provided free to migrants once they are released into communities. The wall will pay for itself in less than two years. It’s a bargain.

Look what it costs us when a Central American teen crosses the border illegally without an adult. Uncle Sam spends a staggering $775 per day for each child housed at a shelter near Florida’s Homestead Air Reserve Base. There they have access to medical care, school and recreation. They stay, on average, 67 days at the Homestead shelter before being released to a sponsor. Do the math. That’s almost $52,000 per child. American parents would appreciate the government spending that money on their kids. Imagine the government handing you a check for $52,000 for your teenager.

However, there are bigger costs ahead. The number of illegal border crossers just hit an 11-year high with a total of more than 76,000 during the month of February alone. U.S. and Mexican officials predict hundreds of thousands more in the coming months.

The migrants use the word “asylum” as their get-in-free card. When they say it to a border agent, they gain entry to the U.S. 80 percent of the time according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. They are temporarily housed and eventually released with an immigration court date. But half never go on to file an asylum claim, disappearing into the U.S., said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

They’re turning asylum into a scam. The system is meant to protect victims of persecution, such as Cubans fleeing Castro’s prisons. Now it’s overwhelmed by Central Americans escaping poverty for a lifestyle upgrade.

Legal immigrants also want to better their circumstances, but they play by the rules. What a slap in the face to see migrants jump the line.

Unfortunately, a federal appeals court just made the asylum hoax even easier. Last week, the left-leaning 9th Circuit ruled that migrants who fail to convince border authorities they face danger in their home country still have a “right” to a day in court in the U.S. That bizarre ruling won’t stand. Another circuit court ruled the opposite way in 2016, clarifying that a border agent’s decision is final and entering the U.S. is a privilege, not a right. The Supreme Court let that earlier decision stand, so count on the Supremes to reverse the 9th Circuit.

In the meantime, though, taxpayers are getting fleeced by caravans of fake asylum-seekers.

Even before the latest surge, the Department of Homeland Security spent over $3 billion in 2018 sheltering and feeding illegals at the border, which is nearly double the cost from 2011.

Add to that the hundreds of millions being spent caring for unaccompanied teenagers in 130 shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services.

President Trump has tried several strategies to protect taxpayers from these rip-offs. First, he barred illegal migrants from asking for asylum, requiring that asylum-seekers enter the country through official ports of entry. That would have reduced the numbers considerably. But in November, a federal district judge, also from the 9th Circuit, nixed the president’s regulation.

Then, Trump devised a “Remain in Mexico” arrangement to make Mexico the waiting room for asylum-seekers. As long as they’re south of the border, the U.S. doesn’t have to house them, and they have no “right” to public schooling and emergency medical care on our tab. The program, if successful, will save U.S. taxpayers a bundle. It’s one way Mexico is already helping to pay for the wall.

Dems claim it’s a waste to spend billions on a wall. But the facts show we can’t afford not to build it. As the cover of the president’s new budget says, “Taxpayers First.”

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Source: Real Clear Politics

Citizen vs City Hall Moment of Silence for Victims of Illegal Immigrants DENIED #BuildThatWall The Speech Peter Boykin gave at Greensboro City Council First of all, I want to acknowledge I was recently retweeted by the City of Greensboro because I stated that Greensboro is the place to live. I mean that, I also live […]

Since the GoFundMe page collecting money for President Donald Trump‘s border wall continues to collect millions of dollars, a few new pages have been set up in response to it. The page “Ladders to Get Over Trump’s Wall” has raised more than $120,000 as of Saturday afternoon, and despite the name, it’s not actually raising money to buy ladders. It is raising […]


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