The president threw down the gauntlet today on Twitter. He said, “The Wall is getting done one way or the other!”
Right now we are waiting for the clown show in Congress to finish their border wall pantomime (construction overseen by Marcel Marceau’s white-gloved hands) so we can get back to business. But we don’t need another government shutdown when Congress (surprise!) doesn’t fund the border wall again, and we don’t need an emergency declaration, which would be tied up in the courts for possibly years. (What kind of emergency powers require court approval, by the way? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?)
There is a mechanism that already exists in federal law that allows the president to build the wall with Defense Department funds. The only thing Trump needs is a secretary of defense who supports his administration, and now that Mad Dog Mattis has been muzzled, we can expect the Pentagon to get on board.
Thanks to political analyst Dick Morris for talking about this process earlier this week in his Lunch Alert. So far as I can tell, Morris is 100 percent correct. The president can build the wall using U.S. Code 10 section 284 as long as he has a secretary of defense willing to invoke his powers to “provide support for the counterdrug activities or activities to counter transnational organized crime of any other department or agency of the Federal Government or of any State, local, tribal, or foreign law enforcement agency.”
In other words, if the Border Patrol says they are fighting drug smugglers or cross-border organized crime such as human trafficking, then the Pentagon can support those efforts. Moreover, the secretary of defense can specifically authorize:
(7) Construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States.
There is actually much more that DOD can do to support the Border Patrol under Section 284, including maintenance and repair of equipment, providing transportation services, establishing bases of operation to fight the drug trade, training, intelligence support and aerial and ground reconnaissance.
It’s a bit scary that President Trump hasn’t done this already, but we know he’s surrounded by Deep State operatives who don’t want him to succeed. But now he needs to stick to his guns and get it done. At the State of the Union, President Trump needs to announce that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has implemented his Section 284 powers and authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to start work on the Wall.
As for the Democrats, they are either for the Wall or they are for the Mexican Drug Cartels and the multinational human trafficking gangs. Let them decide.
Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To see more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Also please considering leaving a review in support of my conservative commentary on one or all of my book pages at Amazon! Thanks!