The Editors: Trump’s national emergency declaration is dangerous for democracy

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., argue during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Feb. 26, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block President Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” on the border with Mexico by a vote of 245 to 182. The votes fell mostly along party lines, with only 13 Republicans voting for the measure.

Mr. Trump’s declaration on Feb. 14 came after months of wrangling with congressional Democrats, who have not approved the whole $5.7 billion he requested for a wall along the southern border. (He also failed to secure this funding in his first two years as president, when the Republicans controlled both branches of Congress.)  According to S&P Global Ratings, the U.S. economy lost approximately $6 billion during the 35-day partial government shutdown resulting from this standoff in December and January, the longest in U.S. history.     

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But according to the plain meaning of the words, there is no “national emergency” at the border. Late last year, the Pew Research Center released a report indicating that illegal immigration is at a 10-year low. And despite Mr. Trump’s frequent horror stories of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, research shows that immigrants, whether documented or not, commit crimes at lower rates than do U.S. citizens.

As Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute recently noted, “Con­gress re­serves for it­self the abil­ity to complain about the abuse of its con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity while hap­pily giv­ing it away when that is po­lit­i­cally or ide­o­log­ically ad­van­tageous.” House Republican support for this emergency declaration, for example, stands in stark contrast to the skepticism Republicans expressed toward President Obama’s efforts to expand executive branch powers. During the Obama administration congressional Republicans lamented what some called an imperial presidency, denouncing executive orders on matters like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Above all, Mr. Trump’s action is dangerous because it is based on fear.

Mr. Trump, too, was a staunch critic of the Obama administration’s overuse of executive orders. The editors of America also criticized Mr. Obama, as well as former President George W. Bush, for overstepping the bounds of acceptable executive conduct.  More recently, America’s editors have criticized Congress for repeatedly approaching the brink of a government shutdown in order to get anything done.

The president’s emergency declaration is only the latest attempt to bypass the ordinary means of governing. Congress should act decisively to defend its constitutional prerogatives and judgment. At press time, four Republican senators—Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina—had announced that they will vote for a resolution blocking the emergency declaration, which should be enough for it to pass, though not enough to override Mr. Trump’s likely veto. But many more should join them.

Above all, Mr. Trump’s action is dangerous because it is based on fear. The president campaigned by appealing to nativist fears among his political base; this so-called emergency is an attempt to govern by the same means. Instead of defending it for a short-term political advantage, Republicans in Congress should reject this emergency declaration as a degradation of constitutional order and a petulant refusal to accept reasonable legislative compromise.

There is no new threat at the southern border. But in Washington the country faces ongoing confusion and dissembling that, if not addressed, will inevitably lead to a genuine constitutional emergency for the nation.

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J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

There is a crisis at the border. Read this https://nyti.ms/2SJ4L0g Is this what the editors want by encouraging the migration which is very dangerous. The nature of those trying to enter the US without authorization has changed dramatically and it appears that the inability to handle those coming is actually driving more to come. So far this fiscal year the number is 310,000 vs 185.000 last year. They are mainly families now where in previous years they were mainly young males. See http://bit.ly/2SNFzG2

Dionys Murphy
6 months 2 weeks ago

Way to parrot the false party line. There is no crisis other than the abusive treatment of migrants by Americans. The numbers have steadily gone down, just as they did under Obama. The 'inability to handle those coming' is because Trump and his ilk want to build walls instead of invest in people to actually process migrants and their claims.

Roland Greystoke
6 months 2 weeks ago

http://www.ojjpac.org/memorial.asp - Victims Of Illegal Aliens...well, that's what they call them on the site. I call them criminal aliens. They break the law by coming to the US illegally, some of them do not protect their children and even send their children with untrustworthy people. The only job the border patrol has to do is to turn them back around and head them back to their home countries. The criminal alien infestation needs to be dealt with harshly.

James Haraldson
6 months 2 weeks ago

Way to parrot the propaganda line of phony compassion. Steadily? When has any rate of influx been steady in the illegal alien crisis of the past half century? If you have such compassion for people you would make distinctions, and start by not calling human beings "ilk." It is sanely rational to not have an open border, the protests of morally sick bishops who never object to slaughtering the unborn notwithstanding. Those pitiful desperate families are a different case from the drug gangs and sex slavers who exploit an open border, and only a moral fool would fail to have concern for the latter, which is precisely what attitude is exercised by dishonestly and euphemistically calling all of them "migrants."

Mike McNamara
6 months 1 week ago

Wow. You are so wrong about numbers.

Christopher Scott
6 months 2 weeks ago

We just had non elected heads of US intelligence agencies admit to conspiring to overthrow a president elected by the people without a word from the editors of this magazine. It doesn’t get worse for our democracy than that, not to mention the credibility of the editors.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

A coup to unsit the current president is not dangerous for democracy if it’s a Republican president. Move along. Nothing to see here,

Dionys Murphy
6 months 2 weeks ago

"We just had non elected heads of US intelligence agencies admit to conspiring to overthrow a president elected by the people" What we had was people who worry about the mental state and ability of the President to carry out his duty, which is protected under the 25th Amendment and a part of constitutional law. Framing it as overthrowing the Presidency is disingenuous at best. But more likely liemongering, which has become part and parcel of the right-wing white-nationalist crazies in power.

Christopher Scott
6 months 2 weeks ago

Dionys...I’m concerned about you, im serious. Are you ok? Try not to hold those bong hits in too long.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

Anytime Mr. Murphy criticizes a person, it’s really a strong endorsement of that person. He is so consistently wrong on everything. My guess he is in reality a staunch conservative posing as a parody of a troll. So thank him.

Judith Jordan
6 months 2 weeks ago

Christopher Scot---
I assume you are referring to Andrew McCabe’s statement that the 25th amendment was mentioned at a meeting of a few people. That was it. There were no meetings, consultations, strategies, plots, or schemes. In fact, you would not even know about it if McCabe had not told us…hardly the characteristics of a conspiracy.

Andrew McCabe's spokeswoman, on Feb. 15, 2019, released the below statement claiming his comments "have been taken out of context and misrepresented."

"Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented. To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions. He was present and participated in a discussion that included a comment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding the 25th Amendment. This anecdote was not included in 'The Threat,' Mr. McCabe merely confirmed a discussion that was initially reported elsewhere."
https://www.axios.com/andrew-mccabe-fbi-25th-amendment-comments-misrepresented-08b5e288-4928-4d59-9b21-0ac07c9a8207.html

Unfortunately, because of Fox News and others who spread misinformation, these kinds of statements have to be published. We have reach a pathetic stage if Americans cannot mention an amendment of the U. S. Constitution without becoming suspects. We don’t need another period of McCarthyism's catastrophes. However, if you have a valid source that US intelligence agencies “conspired” to overthrow a president, please share it with us.

Stanley Kopacz
6 months 2 weeks ago

You're ruining it for the rightie hysterical drama queens here. Or maybe not. The Orange One was right. He could murder someone on 5th Avenue and the followers would still adore him.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

Ms. Jordan
There was a bogus investigation into Trump from early 2016. It continued while he was president with the FISA investigations of which McCabe was a major participant. The person who suggested proposing the 25th Amendment was Rosenstein and this was known months ago. Memos were written and McCabe just confirmed it all. This all took place during a bogus investigation of Trump. Comey and McCabe were partisan Democrats and never should have been near an investigation of Trump either before or after the election. But they were the top two officials of the FBI.

Adeolu Ademoyo
6 months 2 weeks ago

I want to commend AmericaMagazine for this timely editorial and to remain steadfast in the face of un-serious, intellectually, morally and religiously weak and fallacious attacks. You, AmericaMagazine showed your readers your historical position on the issue (mis-use of constitutional power by organs of government) you have raised and you called for consistency by all parties with respect to position they maintained in the past. That is fair enough. In a constitutionally governed polity, one ought to be consistent in one's upholding of the constitution, and deference to the constitution. To do otherwise (i.e. to be in-consistent in upholding the constitution) is a dangerous joke, it is dangerously self serving, it is a dangerous trivialization of the constitution, and it is a dangerous abuse of power.

AmericaMagazine, please continue to carry out your mission of serving Christ, His Church and His people. Serious readers who love facts (not alternative "fact" or alternative "truth") and good, deep and rigorous thinking on matters of religion, faith, our faith in Christ will continue to read and vigorously support the magazine.

So here is my point. It is understandable that readers of any magazine
and including AmericaMagazine are human beings. So because they are human beings they hold different party loyalties, and express different political and ideological views. Therefore they will respond to the magazine's stories and editorial opinions based on their party loyalties. That is obvious from the responses of some readers. This is to be expected of human beings. However, what I think is irrational, illogical, and therefore fallacious is for some readers to deliberately take flight from the core systematic arguments of the essays and editorial opinions of the magazine while pretending to still be commenting on the issues in that particular magazine's stories, essays and editorial opinions (which they have in the first place ignored and taken flight from in their responses)! Doing this, and acting this way has one name-and I will be very blunt-it is called intellectual and ethical dishonesty in the academia.

I know that in electoral politics, all over the world, a politician can be fundamentally and incorrigibly dishonest and still be elected to office-but not so in matters of faith and in the academia. The standards are more rigorous and different in matters of faith and in the academia.

So let us stay with the core arguments in this editorial opinion. We can still disagree with the arguments, but we should stay with the arguments.

Readers have rights to their party views and they have rights to express those views. But for some readers to pretend to address the core arguments of serious and well argued essays (as we have in the present well thought out, well argued and well written editorial opinion of AmericaMagazine) while obviously taking flight from that essay is fallacious and intellectually and ethically dishonest. AmericaMagazine should please ignore those who will want to turn the magazine to a rag tag of a political party, and a State run magazine, and should please continue to remain focused in carrying out its mission of service to Christ, His Church and His people. May God Bless AmericaMagazine and its mission. Thank you for your service to God, His Church, His people and for your service to the country.

Philemon Daniels
6 months 2 weeks ago

I am really looking forward to a day where all these problems associated with Trump will come to an end. Live long United States.
https://thesis-dissertationwritinghelp.com/write-my-capstone-project/
https://custompaperswritinghelp.com/SPSS-data-analysis-help/

CE User
6 months 2 weeks ago

The editors are straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel. People die in the desert because they are trying to cross into the US undetected. Remove the opportunity by establishing a barrier & temptation will fall & they will not die. Too, build the wall & crime will fall. If you don't believe in controls why do you have doors and locks on your homes?

Michael Bindner
6 months 2 weeks ago

Trump needs to cancel this emergency for his own interests. He does not want the vote or the override to be a test vote on removal, because it will be used that way.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

Let me see. Someone who does not like Trump gives him advice for his good. My guess is to do the opposite of the advice.

pablo buerto
6 months 2 weeks ago

While I was indeed born and raised in what used to be a great place to live - Los Angeles - I wouldn't have a clue as to what does or doesn't constitute a "National Emergency" but, I do know this:
Data published in a 2018 The Auto Club report, indicated that the national average for "hit & run" motor vehicle accidents sits right @ 10 percent; in Los Angeles County, that average is 66 percent!
I can also say - and this may surprise some of the big brains out there - that immigrants who entered this country illegally - who've not paid one dime into Medicaid - are receiving Medicaid benefits. Per Kaiser Healthcare News: "Federal law generally bars immigrants who enter this country illegally from being covered by Medicaid. But a little-known part of the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, has long paid about $2 billion a year for emergency treatment for a group of patients who, according to hospitals, mostly comprise this class of immigrants.”
A twelve year old report - 2007 - by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in a four-year period, approximately 99 percent of those who used Emergency Medicaid were determined to be immigrants who entered this country illegally. Think maybe - twelve years later - the number of illegals using these facilities has gone down? Not bloody likely!
Further, as if the cost of treating uninsured immigrants who entered this country illegally in 2018 alone - $4.4 billion, primarily at Emergency rooms and "Free" Clinics - weren't enough, consider the billions being absorbed by in-patient care delivered by hospitals, and don't "play stupid" as to who is picking up these costs, because we all know its every American taxpayer - not to mention medical facilities and insurance companies who turn around and raise their rates for those of us who play by the rules.
November 17, 2017 - "A fire at a SINGLE-FAMILY home - sparked by an unattended candle - injured three children and three adults in the Walnut Park area of Los Angeles
According to the lead fire inspector for the County on the scene:
"Prior to being displaced by the near-complete destruction of the house, 20 children and 11 adults had been residing there."
~ ABC News, Los Angeles ~

Henry George
6 months 2 weeks ago

If the Editors woke up tomorrow morning to find that they had been replaced
by Undocumented Immigrants what would they now say ?

The World is the Lord's and all the boundaries of it, but governments have a responsibility
to its citizens. When two thousand people a day cross into the United States as
Un-Documented Immigrants - you have an emergency.

I am convinced that the Democrats do not want the "Wall" because they look at immigrants,
be they legal or un-documented, as potential votes. Republicans do not want it because
corporations that illegally hire un-documented immigrants to not want to stop the flow of
potential under-the-table workers that they can exploit to the maximum.

If anyone can tell me how un-documented immigrants help the Poor of America
please do.

I don't see how wages for the hardest and worst paying jobs can rise when an un-documented
immigrant is willing to take your job. How does it help the children of the Poor to have to attend schools overwhelmed by un-documented children, or the Poor who go to Public Hospitals only to be told to wait while un-documented immigrants receive medical care that they do not pay for, or the price of housing that rises because landlords rent to those they know will stuff the rental with 12 un-documented immigrants.

Yes, the Elites will continue to hire un-documented immigrants rather than Poor American
Citizens to be their Nannies, Maids, Gardeners as they don't care about any Poor person they
cannot exploit.

Meanwhile the lower third on the Socio-Economic ladder continue to seethe and their anger
grows greater and great and a demagogue far craftier and far more dangerous than Trump
waits in the wings - waiting to be swept into absolute power because the two political parties
do not really care about any one in the Middle Class or below, save at election time.

Work toward improving the countries where the un-documented immigrants come from.

Build a "Wall" to stabilise the border.

Develop a Guest Worker policy where Immigrants can work at jobs Americans won't take
and then make sure they are paid a fair wage and do not have to work in dangerous conditions.

Randal Agostini
6 months 2 weeks ago

It is strange that the Editors single out a presidential executive order to ridicule and term dangerous, while turning a blind eye towards the actual events at the border. How shall common sense judge America when they are obviously being dishonest. The words of America taken as a whole seek to erase the southern border and create an open season for border crossings. If this is not the case, what exactly does America support?

KATHERIN MARSH
6 months 2 weeks ago

Dear editors,
Trump refuses to maintain the status quo when it comes to the issue of immigration on our southern border and I think this is something that deserves your support because our country abuses the Mexican immigrant. For example: We turn a blind eye when employers give them fake social security numbers, and when the government accepts those fake numbers. We turn a blind eye when crimes are committed against illegal immigrants. We don't assimilate the needy immigrant from our southern border, but instead, exploit their labor without giving them real social security. We take taxes, but never giv ethem beneifts of taxation.
I think the Trump policy is simple: We need a valid port of entry, and laws that help the immigrants become part of this country.
On a separate but related issue: Immigrants through our southern border are wanted, needed and loved. Why isn't this majority House of Representative making laws that reflect this? They have an opportunity to make laws that are inclusive. Furthermore they can begin legislation to fix the issues with DACA. Trump is sticking it to those bipartisan, political fence sitters who won't make good laws. Who lack due diligence.
He can because he is using his Presidential power.

Edwin Hess
6 months 2 weeks ago

People should enter our country in an orderly and controlled manner. If that requires a larger staff, then hire them. A structure on the border is a one-time expense, but the reduction of the number of guards needed at the border would be a permanent saving.

Regarding spreading fear, why is it that there is so little being said about the ease with which terrorists can enter via the Mexican border? Does anybody believe that open borders do not attract them?

Patrick Robinson
6 months 2 weeks ago

Ed makes solid points. The Vatican has borders and walls. While globalists may contest the point, all nations define and protect their borders. Beyond Ed's point on terrorists easily entering the country, we have diseases reemerging that were thought to be eradicated. The numbers of young people testing positive for exposure to TB, for example, is scary. Add in drug smugglers, MS-13 members and sex traffickers and you are left scratching your head on why the Democratic Party refused to fund the southern border security we obviously need. Calling Trump names does not solve the problem. Also, it's more than a bit comical that our left leaning editors have suddenly become such Constitutional strict constructionists.

Stanley Kopacz
6 months 2 weeks ago

If you're worrying about drug resistant bacteria, consider the overuse of antibiotics in the meat animal industry. I think it is more important to build and maintain a wall between pathogens and humans than humans and humans.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

That is an argument for both. Thank you for supporting the barrier at the southern border.

Stanley Kopacz
6 months 2 weeks ago

If you want a real barrier, prosecute employers that provide jobs to undocumented. Confiscate their property the way they do drug dealers'. A physical wall or fence won't stop them. Also, it's going to mess up the US property owners along the Rio Grande. Water access problems for farmers and ranchers. You can't build a wall in the middle of a river. Also, germs tend to not be stopped by walls.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

I am on record for going after employers. So good point. Physical walls work everywhere they are tried. Property owners can be compensated and most from what I understand do not want the migrants on their lands. Water access can be worked around.

But now germs are an issue? First I heard of it.

You keep on making good arguments for a barrier. So keep it up.

Adeolu Ademoyo
6 months 2 weeks ago

Again, I know that logic, truth, knowledge, history are the first casualties in crude and tribal partisan politics. These casualties are in full display in the responses to the AmericaMagazine editorial. I will therefore quote the content and structure of the editorial. If anyone claims not to see this, then there is a bigger and hidden problem which is implied but it is not being explicitly stated by those who claim not to see this!

Now here are the words, spirit and letters of AmericaMagazine editorial and argument on Mr. Trump's abuse of power and rape of the constitution in his phony declaration of emergency. AmericaMagazine writes:

1. "During the Obama administration congressional Republicans lamented what some called an imperial presidency, denouncing executive orders on matters like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program."
2. "Mr. Trump, too, was a staunch critic of the Obama administration’s overuse of executive orders. The editors of America also criticized Mr. Obama, as well as former President George W. Bush, for overstepping the bounds of acceptable executive conduct."
3. "More recently, America’s editors have criticized Congress for repeatedly approaching the brink of a government shutdown in order to get anything done."

CONCLUSION:
Because the polity of the United States of America is governed by a constitution, if anyone criticized and condemned "an imperial presidency" and "executive orders" in the past during the Obama administration, in the same vein today, in the present, Mr. Trump's "imperial presidency" and "executive overreach" should be condemned.

The logic for this conclusion is simple. They are (i) the American constitution and (ii) -common sense-which goes thus "what is good for the goose is good for the gander."

Based on premises 1-3, the conclusion in the AmericaMagazine editorial follows and ought to follow for any fair minded, rational reader. Now if the conclusion does not follow for some people, then there is a bigger issue which goes to the heart of the history, beginning, origins of the country- United States of America; a history, beginning, origin which are in the minds of people who are unable to reach this logical, commonsensical conclusion which is backed by the American constitution. Interestingly this must be something they articulate in their own narrow, tribal and crude media but which they cannot and are unable to put explicitly in the public sphere, in the public domain here in AmericaMagazine because they cannot rationally defend it in a respectable, cosmopolitan, faith, religious and serious magazine like the AmericaMagazine.

Perhaps, this origin, beginning, history of the United States of America which prevent these people from reaching the simple, logical and commonsensical conclusion in the AmericaMagazine editorial may have something to do with the 30% of American population who without a single empirically verifiable reason believed then (when Trump used such silly tribal and racist claim to lunch his election campaign) and still believe now that President Obama is not a native born citizen of the United States of America, a crude and tribal attempt to delegitimize the Obama presidency. Truly logic, truth, knowledge, history, basic common sense are the first casualties in crude and tribal partisan politics.

Mister Mckee
6 months 2 weeks ago

"Above all, Mr. Trump's action is dangerous because it is based on FEAR."
True that....
https://www.alternet.org/2019/03/harvard-psychoanalyst-explains-why-trumps-grandiose-paranoid-character-appeals-to-his-supporters-despite-his-broken-promises/?utm_source=push_notifications
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dangerous_Case_of_Donald_Trump

Jose A
6 months 2 weeks ago

WSJ Headline:
Record Immigration Surge at Border.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/more-migrant-families-arrested-at-border-in-five-months-than-any-previous-full-year-11551810657

I would hope no one is contesting the by allowing LEGAL immigrants to enter our country.
ILLEGAL immigrants now that is issue.

We are nation of laws and those fleeing there respective countries have NO LAWS.
A better effort would be spent on assisting with change in these "no law" countries as we are applying to Venezuela.
We do have an emergency and the world should address it as we are doing here in America.
Trump 2020.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

Here is a readable version of article http://bit.ly/2SNFzG2

Mister Mckee
6 months 2 weeks ago

Jose can you see...numbers like these in 2020?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-michael-cohen-poll-stormy-daniels-russia-mueller-a8809606.html

Jose A
6 months 2 weeks ago

This is real credible source....lol. Socialist Great Britain...lol

Stanley Kopacz
6 months 2 weeks ago

Let's face it, Captain Crunch is on the bridge of the Titanic. He doesn't know how the ship works, he doesn't know how to navigate, he's too busy primping his orange hair and firing assistants to even look out the window. And he says icebergs don't exist. He insults the legitimate captains of other ships while praising those whose ships fly the skull and crossbones, the meaner the better. He passes right by lifeboats full of people from sunken ships, ships that were sunk by the great wake of HIS ship. He promises to stop the abortions taking place low in the hold, and many passengers care only about that and not that the ship is sailing in circles among the icebergs. Sail on, Great Ship of State. And good luck. You'll need it.

Christopher Minch
6 months 2 weeks ago

IMO, this is a reasoned moderate rationale for why an emergency declaration should not be made by the president and why congress should oppose it. However, I could have read this in any editorial in the moderate secular press.

This is supposed to be a Catholic/Christian publication. It would seem that the Editors could have given some overarching rationale for their opinion on this subject of immigration. Such as might be said in a parable by Jesus, all which can be found in Matthew 25 about the treatment of “strangers”. (Another word for aliens or those outside the country of Israel in the bible.) And what about the importance Jesus attached to this by saying, “Amen” not once but twice in this parable. In other words, it was very, very important. And finally, for those who oppose and even undermining legal immigration, Jesus had a warning that even those who say, “Lord, Lord” may not find themselves entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I can understand maybe not calling on Bishops documents. These documents are kind of dense and long about the subject. And also the Bishops are not in high repute nowadays but at least Jesus’ words should have some import on this subject—at least a paragraph or two. We sort of expect a little bit of sermonizing or religious explanation to come from a publication like this. Doesn’t have to be heavy handed but thoughtful would be good.

If you wanted push back on this subject by the neoconservative Republicans who read this then you got it because you didn’t really speak up or stand up for what Jesus had to say about this and what really should help guide one’s spiritual thinking and attitude regarding
legally sanctioned immigrates and migrants.

Mike Macrie
6 months 2 weeks ago

The Editorial is right on that Declaring a National Emergency is a threat to Democracy especially from a President who admires Dictators and the powers that they possess. Let the Supreme Court Rule on the Constitutionality of this declaration that the “ Sky is Falling “.

Patrick Robinson
6 months 2 weeks ago

Does the final paragraph really begin with, "There is no new threat at the southern border." Over
70,000 illegal crossings of the southern border in February 2019 alone seems to me to clearly establish a threat with an an emergent need to address it. But no discussion of this issue can be meaningful without an agreement that a nation has the right to define and protect its borders. If the editors concede the US --like all nations--has that right, then how do we stop the illegal crossings so legal immigrants can be properly vetted and allowed into the country. The answer from border patrol officials who know the issue is a combination of technology and a physical barrier. On the other hand, if you just want open borders, why not just say so.

Adeolu Ademoyo
6 months 2 weeks ago

The key word is Consistency.

The point of the AmericaMagazine editorial opinion is simple. It is the nature of law or what has been taken to be the nature of laws in all western democracies, modern western civilization, and modern public spheres-not dictatorship as we have in Vladimir Putin's Russia, or military dictatorships in other parts of the world. And here it is. Consistency is a trite assumption of a modern law-this is AmericaMagazine's point! Consistency in law and policy making is the only way a law and its supporters can avoid legitimate charges-of undermining the constitution. So AmericaMagazine says:

(i) The Republicans and Mr. Trump (and the AmericaMagazine itself) condemned the Obama administration for executive over-reach in policy and law, why must the same Republicans (and the magazine) fail to condemn Mr. Trump for doing exactly the same thing the Republicans, Mr. Trump, and the magazine condemned the Obama administration for?

(ii) And AmericaMagazine is saying that consistent with the trite criterion of a good law in a modern, cosmopolitan public sphere-which is consistency-because I condemn the Obama administration for executive over-reach, and because Mr. Trump has done exactly the same thing I condemned the Obama administration for, I must condemn Mr. Trump for doing it. This is a rational and an ethical minimum of a modern human civilization, and of western civilization.

I understand that consistency in thought and public policy is not a virtue of tribal spaces such as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh radio broad casts Breibart News, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and their audiences, the point is: why must anyone want to import such inconsistency into respectable, cosmopolitan space like AmericaMagazine? In other words, I understand and I grant that in tribal spaces, anything goes, it is the law of the tribe, you say and do the most horrendous, illegal thing and you get away with it. At least the tribe leader once said that he can kill in public space and get away with it-and the tribal media never questioned this horrendous thought! But the question is: why do you want to get out of your tribal space into a more diverse cosmopolitan public sphere and insist that such diverse, cosmopolitan public sphere must play by the rule of the tribe, the tribal space -i.e be inconsistent in thought, in law and the application of the law?

This reminds me of when Mr. Trump challenged Barak Obama's intellect and asked that Mr. Obama should produce his school transcripts in public. Mr. Trump said this of Mr. Obama while he- Mr. Trump had made secret arrangements-(through secretly threatening at least Fordham university where he first went for his college education before transferring to university of Pennsylvania) to make sure that his school transcripts, college scores etc will never be made public! Here is the report from American news papers. Please read and reach your own conclusion about consistency: "A new story from the Washington Post reports that in 2011, his (i.e. kid Donald Trump) old high school, the New York Military Academy, the then-headmaster was pushed to make sure that no one would be able to access Trump's records from his time as a student." From the Post:

"The superintendent of the private school “came to me in a panic because he had been accosted by prominent, wealthy alumni of the school who were Mr. Trump’s friends” and who wanted to keep his records secret, recalled Evan Jones, the headmaster at the time. “He said, ‘You need to go grab that record and deliver it to me because I need to deliver it to them.’ "”
Also, Fordham university, where Mr. Trump first went to college before transferring to university of Pennsylvania confirmed publicly that they were threatened never to make Mr. Trump's academic record public.

Now I understand that within one's tribal space, one can cross the line of rationality, ethics, consistency and decency and nothing will happen-that is the norm of tribal spaces-support for the tribal leader is the most important task. But the relevance of this for me here is one word-Consistency. So the questions are:

(i) Why did Mr. Trump ask Mr. Obama to produce his academic records while he -Mr. Trump and his acolytes had made sure behind the scene through threats to academic authorities that his (Mr. Trump's) academic record will never be made public? Why?

(ii) Why did the Republicans condemn the Obama administration in the past for executive over reach while actively supporting Mr. Trump's executive over reach today? Why these inconsistencies in a modern civilization, in modern public sphere? Why?

So AmericaMagazine is saying in this editorial that the foundation of a democracy, a modern civilization, a modern cosmopolitan public sphere is consistency and a consistent application of the law-what is commonly put in folk thought as "what is good for the goose is good for the gander." Why will anyone disagree with this rational and ethical minimum of a modern civilization, a modern democracy, a modern and cosmopolitan public sphere? Why?

John Hobson
6 months 2 weeks ago

In 1933, Adolf Hitler used the Reichstag Fire as an excuse to declare a "national emergency" under which he ruled until 1945. That is what I fear might happen.

Mike McNamara
6 months 1 week ago

It is illogical to state that “it is dangerous because it is based on fear.” First of all it is not based on fear. It is based on irrefutable fact. Second, even if it were based on fear, it would be wrong not to act to stop the illegal migration. Nations have a right to exist and a right to do what is best for themselves. Our immigration policies have been guided by the needs of the nation. It has worked. There is a legal way to immigrate and people who want to live here must follow the rules.

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